Here is a boating safety television spot that was created to address tubing safety, which is part of the larger recreational activity of towed water sports. We focused on tubing safety in this message because accident data indicated that people on tubes were involved in many more accidents than those involved in other towed water sports such as water skiing and wakeboarding. From January 2007 through December 2013, almost 90% of the towed water sports accidents involved tubing.
Our goal in developing this television spot was to focus on two messages, both primarily directed at the boat operator towing tubes. These messages were the operator is in control of the direction of the tube, and the operator should never tow a person near docks, trees, markers, boats, or any other object that could endanger a person on a tube. The person on a tube has no control over the direction they are going. Unlike a person water skiing (who can control their direction by manipulating the ski), a person on a tube goes where the boat operator takes them. That operator is in complete control of the direction, speed, and safety of those riding on the tube.
One of the keys for us when we put together all outreach material is to make sure everyone involved is safe during the production. All of the actors are wearing a life jacket. The “mom and dad” are each wearing an inflatable belt pack life jacket. These small, comfortable life jackets can sometimes be difficult to see when worn. They can be worn all day with great comfort, which is one the reasons we promote them. Nearly half of each year’s boating accident fatalities could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a life jacket. The “son” on the tube is wearing a more commonly seen vest style life jacket. By Florida Law, a person engaged in one of the towed water sport activities must be wearing a noninflatable, U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
This is a photo of a person wearing an inflatable belt pack life jacket. Take a look at the video and see if you can spot the inflatable life jackets. As always, be aware and be safe.