Wearing lifejackets

boatone

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The hot weather and school holidays resulted in the usual rash of small open hire boats on the river this last weekend. Many of them were only just inside the twelve person limit but what really worried me was the number of young children not wearing lifejackets. I actually plucked up the courage to voice my concerns to adults (parents?) on a couple of the boats - one of them had been allowing the kids to jump on and off while moored in a lock. My question was something like "did the hire operator provide lifejackets and recommend that they are worn?" In both case the answer was yes but they (the parents) thought the kids would be ok if they stayed within the boat.
Was I right to voice my concerns? In both cases it did seem to have the desired effect.
 
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byron

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My Grandkids ALWAYS wear Life Jackets when out with me. I would never presume to advise others however. Too easy to be accused of being a busy body. My worst fear is kids on the bows of boats as the travel alone, there again I have seen a headless 12 year old and two adults with their feet chopped off. They too were riding the bow.
 

Medskipper

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The hot weather and school holidays resulted in the usual rash of small open hire boats on the river this last weekend. Many of them were only just inside the twelve person limit but what really worried me was the number of young children not wearing lifejackets. I actually plucked up the courage to voice my concerns to adults (parents?) on a couple of the boats - one of them had been allowing the kids to jump on and off while moored in a lock. My question was something like "did the hire operator provide lifejackets and recommend that they are worn?" In both case the answer was yes but they (the parents) thought the kids would be ok if they stayed within the boat.
Was I right to voice my concerns? In both cases it did seem to have the desired effect.
.
I know that feeling, I ride fast motorbikes and have done advanced courses so always wear full protective clothing, when I see these kids riding in shorts,tee shirts and flip flops I want to tell them to wear proper gear because the road is just as hard when it's sunny and they will lose a lot of skin if they come off. But it's a waste of time you just get the finger! Some will find out the hard way and some get away with it, some people just do not look after themselves and some pay the price. Just like boating!
 

oldgit

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Very difficult one this.Beyond Sheerness everyone wears a jacket.Be it off to Ramsgate and beyond or round to Teddington.Irrespective of weather.
Above the lock if moored up the kids are allowed not to have jackets provided they remain in the cockpit or on the flybridge
Underway or locking in the non tidal,the grandkids are always jacketed irrespective of anything..Everyone else its their choice.
Have been very fortunate in that my daughter has insisted that the twins started swimming and getting comfortable around water since about 6 months old.
It would greatly help if toddler lifejackets were not so blimming bulky and cumbersome.Persuading the little gits to suit up with half a orange straitjacket come mattress on a blistering August day is no fun.:)
It cannot be beyond the wit of man to come up with a more advanced bouyancy aid.
IMHO starting to teach kids to swim at 10 or whatever is too late and fear of water sets in..And as for swimming lessons being cut from school lessons.... crass stupidity.
No good saying its the parents responsibility either,what happens if mum and dad cannot swim either.
Was very lucky to have come from a family closely associated with the water going back for many generations and always seemed to end up as kid larking around in our local lakes ponds and of course the river.
Falling in at some point was inevitable....thing that stays with you is walking a couple of miles home with wet clothes and a liberal coating of mud.
 
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Actionmat

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The Lockies use to give kids who wore life jackets stickers as a reward(some kids will do anything for a sticker). They featured different wind in the willows characters wearing life belts, that said 'I'm safe on the river'. Some parents are too dim to think for themselves, but that isn't the child's fault.
 

Mirror Painter

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If I'm in charge of a boat on the Thames, or anywhere else, under 18's wear a L.J. wether they can swim or not and non- swimmer adults too.

Like Boatone I've also stuck my nose in to other people's business when I've seen thier kids without L.J. Usually I point out there are hidden tree roots and such which can trap even the best child swimmer. Not actually sure a L.J. would help if stuck on a hidden tree root but it seems to help people not think I'm criticising thier sprogs.
 
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