LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Every two hours and 15 minutes, someone is injured or killed in a boating accident, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, the focus is "your safety on the water." The main message of this week's boat safety campaign is the importance of a wearing a life jacket.
"U.S. Coast Guard and Auxiliary Coast Guard off Lovers Key, our rescue exercise will be commencing here in about five minutes!"
It can happen in the blink of an eye. In just mere seconds a calm day on the water can turn tragic.
"What we are doing is simulating a victim on a pleasure vessel that happens to fall off the boat," explained. Lt. Richard Scott with the Bonita Springs Fire Dept.
It's a re-enactment by Bonita Springs firefighters demonstrating how strapping on a life jacket, a simple device, can help save your life.
"You hit the water, you're injured, you're not expecting it, you get disoriented, imagine what it would be like if you didn't have a life jacket on," Lt. Scott explained.
We're told most people that board a boat don't put on their life vest.
"If you have your life jackets on the boat and they are stowed somewhere and you have an emergency or an accident, you generally don't have time to find them and put them on."
If you were wearing a life jacket, your chance of drowning in a boating accident is one in 56, if you were not wearing a life jacket, your chance is one in 10.
"Without it, you sink! It's very clear, most people that die in boating accidents die from drowning," said Commodore John Tyson with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
He also says the number of deaths on the water from the Carolinas to the Virgin Islands and includes Florida has gone down, slightly.
"It shows we're winning, but we're not satisfied until that number is zero and it's going to be a long time before we get there," said Tyson.
There were 651 fatalities on the water in 2012.