The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently announced a new national adult water safety campaign. The campaign, titled “Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns,” is targeted towards adult males.
In the past 10 years, 88 percent of all USACE water-related fatalities were men and 68 percent were between the ages of 20 and 60. Also, 84 percent of those killed in water-related accidents were not wearing life jackets and 27 percent of boating fatalities were from falls overboard. In addition to boating falls, the activity that caused the most water-related fatalities was swimming in undesignated areas, according to data reported by the USACE National Operations Center (NOC) for Water Safety.
“This new campaign is made possible because of a partnership between the NOC for Water Safety and the Corps of Engineers Natural Resources and Education Foundation, a non-profit foundation established to support USACE natural resources and recreation programs,” said Pam Doty, USACE National Water Safety Program Manager.
“The Corps Foundation secured a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund that is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and, working in cooperation with the NOC for Water Safety, developed the campaign. The Corps Foundation conducted focus groups with male boaters who either did not wear life jackets or only wore a life jacket when they thought it was necessary,” Doty added.
“The feedback that was received from the focus groups was instrumental in helping develop the campaign and awareness products. We found that the biggest reason that would provoke males to wear life jackets was not fear for their own lives, but fear of what would happen to those they would leave behind,” she said.
A number of campaign materials were produced by the Corps Foundation utilizing grant funds to include a logo; four broadcast-quality video and three audio Public Service Announcements (PSA); two posters; and a mobile game app called Lake Guard. The game is available for free on Apple and Google Play app stores and can be downloaded on any smart devices such as phone or tablet. The other materials are available on PleaseWearIt.com, YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/USACEwatersafety and on DVIDS at www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-WS.
The NOC for Water Safety has developed Life Jacket Worn…Nobody Mourns campaign products that include a campaign products DVD, water safety tips rack card, other promotional products, and artwork that has been made available to all lake and river projects to promote water safety to adult males.
“The NOC for Water Safety will continue to create products to compliment this campaign and encourages everyone that works for the USACE to utilize this campaign to promote water safety to our target audience and to share it with partners and stakeholders for them to utilize as well,” added Doty.