For the third consecutive year, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) of the United States in partnership with Hispanic Communications Network (HCN), promotes its successful multimedia educational campaign, to encourage the use of life jackets among members of Latino families across the country.
With public service messages on radio, the campaign continues during the days before Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest aquatic and sailing weeks of the year. The campaign’s message is part of an international effort focused on improving the safety of aquatic activities through the use of lifejackets at all times.
“The goal is to make the use of lifejackets a habit when doing aquatic activities. To emphasize that point, one of the radio messages describes situations of Latino families before going on a boat ride, emphasizing the importance of wearing life jackets,” said Jim Emmons, Non-Profit Outreach Grants Director of Water Sports Foundation (WSF).
Official statistics show that 8 out of 10 deaths during activities in the water have a tragic element in common: the victims did not wear a lifejacket. In the same way, many of the boats involved in accidents did carry the lifebuoy, but the occupants did not use it for different reasons.
In 2018, 69% of total accidents in aquatic activities occurred during the summer season in the months of May, June, July and August; also 59% of the total number of people killed due to these accidents happened during these four months of the year.
“Unfortunately, our Latino community has one of the highest percentages of people, especially children, who can not swim. It is proven that the use of vests saves lives. In the case of Latino families, the use of the life jacket is essential before starting any navigation or water sports activity,” said HCN CEO Alison Rodden.
But despite its positive impact on safety, many Latinos avoid using life jackets because they consider it uncomfortable, even when there is a new generation of less restrictive and more comfortable vests. The new campaign seeks to continue efforts to inspire a culture of maritime safety among the Spanish-speaking public, through Public Service Messages in the network of affiliated stations of HCN, in the programming of shows of the Hispanic Network, as well as multimedia messages on their sites on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.