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FWC, U.S. Power Squadrons boost boating safety efforts

News Release

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has enjoyed a strong partnership with the U.S. Power Squadrons for years. Recently, the FWC provided inflatable life jacket kits to U.S. Power Squadrons units across the state. The kits will be used by instructors to provide information on inflatable life jacket use and to show students how easy it is to wear a life jacket all of the time while boating.

“Organizations like the Power Squadrons are a critical part of boating safety efforts in Florida and across the country,” said Brian Rehwinkel, FWC Boating Safety Outreach Coordinator. “The instructors with the Power Squadrons are often the first boating safety contact a new boater will encounter, and the information learned in a boating safety class can make a big difference on the water.”

Life jacket kits were purchased through boating safety grants for approved boating safety classroom courses in Florida.

“With life jackets, seeing is believing,” Rehwinkel said. “Having the life jackets in hand will allow instructors to show students how easy it is to wear them all the time while boating.”

Life jacket wear does make a difference. Statistics show that more than 62 percent of the 55 boating-related deaths confirmed in 2012 were attributed to drowning, which life jackets are designed to prevent.

“We want to promote the message that there is a wide variety of comfortable, affordable and stylish life jackets on the market today,” Rehwinkel said. “It is easier than you might think to keep you and your passengers safe.”

The project with the Power Squadrons will help get that message out to those enrolled in boating safety courses.

The Power Squadrons is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. The FWC is supportive of organizations who teach approved boating safety education courses in Florida.

For more boating safety information, visit

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