Keeping Your Family Afloat This Summer

The Merced Sailboat Club gets underway with its racing Thursday evening, May 11, 2006, at Lake Yosemite in Merced, Calif. Sailboat racing will continue every Thursday night through Labor Day. (AP Photo/Merced Sun-Star ,Marci Stenberg) AP Photo/Marci Stenberg

May 19-25 is National Safe Boating Week. Below are some of the products mentioned during the boating safety segment on The Early Show:

  • Auto-Inflatable Life Jackets: Belt-Pack ($100, Stearns; StearnsInc.com). Worn comfortably around waist with automatic inflation when submerged in water; manual inflation by pulling lanyard or by oral tube. Heavy-duty 1-1/2 inch adjustable waist belt and torso slide straps for a custom fit.

  • Auto-Inflatable Life Jackets: Collar ($250, Mustang; MustangSurvival.com). New hydrostatic technology offers reliable inflation, low maintenance and comfortable fit. Automatically inflates when submerged in more than four inches of water and will not inflate prematurely in the case of rain, spray or humidity. Lightweight in design and comfortable to wear for a long period of time, this can be worn over a T-shirt or jacket. Low profile and allows for maximum amount of mobility. Neoprene collar is soft and won't chafe your neck.

  • Canine Life Jacket: ($25 - $50, Paws Aboard; PawsAboard.com) Constructed to provide buoyancy, along with a cozy secure fit, the jacket features an advanced breathable mesh underbelly for proper draining and drying. Safety features include the new reflective strips for maximum visibility, neon-yellow color and a handle on top for quick grabbing.

  • LifeTag Man Overboard System: ($685, Raymarine; Raymarine.com)
    Price includes two wireless pendants, base station, batteries, straps, alarm module, power cable and handbook. In the event of a man overboard, the person's LifeTag signal is rapidly degraded by immersion in water, or as the distance between the person and boat increase (typically 30 feet). The base station responds automatically by sounding an audible alarm onboard to alert others. Can also be manually activated and used to call for assistance in case of fire, flooding, medical emergency or other situations where an immediate response is needed.

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector: ($80-$100, West Marine: westmarine.com) Similar to smoke alarms, these detectors react to hazardous carbon monoxide levels. It uses a microprocessor to measure CO levels and is designed to eliminate most false alarms. The circuit is coated on both sides for added protection in the moist marine environment.

  • Coast Guard Safety Kit: www.uscgboating.org (Usually included in purchase price of a new boat) An assortment of throw lines, distress flares, first-aid items, etc. If you do not have one, check the Coast Guard Web site for more information.

    For more information on owning a boat, visit www.discoverboating.com.
    • Marianne Goldstein

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