With National Safe Boating Week underway, Sgt. James Slaughter of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has a few pointers for the upcoming season.

One of them has to do with safety: Wearing a life jacket is essential, he said.

“Unfortunately, statistics show that a significant, if not the majority, of people who drown were not wearing a life jacket,” Slaughter said. “A good day on the water can turn tragic in seconds.”

According to Slaughter, it’s important that people check the fit of their life jackets and ensure that U.S. Coast Guard-approved jackets are on board for everyone, including children, who are required to wear a life jacket until the age of 13.

-For more information, see the May 22 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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