Saved by the jacket: Holly S.

In conjunction with National Safe Boating Week 2012 we will be featuring first-person accounts of those who survived an accident on the water. Today’s story comes from a younger boater who witnessed her cousin fall overboard after their boat made an unexpected turn. We are sharing his story here at Compass in the hopes you will share it with the littlest of boaters and always “wear it,” no matter what age you are.

Click on the above image to watch "Station Safewater," a children's safety cartoon aimed at teaching kids how to be safe on a boat, on a beach and while swimming. U.S. Coast Guard video.

Click on the above image to watch "Station Safewater," a children's safety cartoon aimed at teaching kids how to be safe on a boat, on a beach and while swimming. U.S. Coast Guard video.

This story originally appeared in National Safe Boating Council’sSaved by the Jacket” and was written by Holly S., age 10.

Wearing your life jacket is very important. This story is about my family and I going on a boat in the water by my house.

A properly fitted life jacket, that won't ride up or come off, is a must for all boaters. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A properly fitted life jacket, that won't ride up or come off, is a must for all boaters. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

One day, my family and I went on our boat in the river. When we got to the beach, my little cousin, Malcom, wouldn’t put on his life jacket. He always made jokes like that so we thought he was kidding.

As we were about to get into the boat, he did not put on his jacket. We had to beg him to put on his life jacket for a while when we were in the boat, and he would not put it on, but he finally did.

After we got out about half way, Malcom tore off his life jacket and threw it into the water.

The next thing I knew, my dog jumped in after the life jacket and swam in front of the boat! My dad made a sharp turn and Malcom fell into the river. He couldn’t swim and my dad started to pull on his pants leg and kept him under water. I had to jump in to get my dog off of him so he could come up.

After I got the dog in the boat. I swam and got Malcom’s life jacket and put it in the boat. My dad lifted Malcom into the boat, and he grabbed his life jacket and put it on.

Do you wear your life jacket? Click on the picture above to be directed to our Facebook page where you can download this photo and show your pride in boating responsibly. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelly Parker.

Do you wear your life jacket? Click on the picture above to be directed to our Facebook page where you can download this photo and show your pride in boating responsibly. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelly Parker.

When every one got back to shore, Malcom jumped out of the boat and ran to the car. He cried all the way back to my house. When we got back to our house, my mom tried to calm Malcom down but he was hysterical and cried and cried and cried. Everyone in my family tried to calm him down. I felt very sorry for him.

Then finally my aunt and uncle came home and he stopped crying. My dad told my uncle the whole story and he got very mad at Malcom for not putting on his life jacket. My aunt felt the same way so he was punished.

About a week later we were going to go boating again in our river. We were at the river shore when I turned around and Malcom and my aunt and uncle were coming in their car. He hesitantly got out of the car and came onto shore My uncle asked my dad if could go boating with us. My dad said they could as long as Malcom wore his life jacket.

As soon as my dad said that he turned around and Malcom had his life jacket on as tight as it can go.

Scary experiences like this can teach you valuable lessons like it did with my cousin. Always, no matter what, you’re in a boat, wear your life jacket.

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