The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has a message for anyone shopping for a boater. A new, comfortable life jacket makes an ideal gift, and it could save someone’s life.

“A lot of people don’t wear life jackets because they feel they’re uncomfortable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “However, with newer models, such as belt packs or suspenders, you hardly feel them. Replacing an old, bulky life jacket with a newer model makes a great gift.”

Belt-pack and suspender life jackets are inflatable. Some inflate automatically when a person falls into the water, while others inflate after the wearer pulls a cord. Prices of the belt-pack and suspender life jackets start at approximately $60.

That’s the gift that shows that you care. So does a membership to SeaTow or Boat US, or maybe an EPIRB or PLB. For more discussion of dive safety, check out FS member Comandante’s Forum thread, Florida Dive Flag Protocol.

For more boating safety information, visit or call 850-488-5600.

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