Body Koozies


Swimmers at Bob Wentz Park, Mansfield Dam Park and Cottonwood Shores Park have an additional safety resource available — life jacket loaner boards. Children and adults swimming at the parks can use the life jackets available in the loaner boards on the honor system that they return the life jackets back to the loaner boards when they leave the parks. Find the loaner boards at the parks:


  • 651 people died in recreational U.S. boating accidents in 2012, according to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Drowning was the cause of 71 percent of those deaths; 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.


  • Everyone should wear a life jacket when boating. Boaters often don't have time to retrieve stowed life jackets during an emergency.
  • Wearing a life jacket not only makes sense, but in many cases it's the law. All recreational boats including canoes and kayak must have one wearable U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board.
  • Babies, small children and nonswimmers should always wear a life jacket when near the water, not just when boating or swimming. It's just common sense.

Types of Personal Flotation Devices

Off-Shore Life Jacket.

Designed to turn an unconscious person in the water to a vertical or slightly backward position, they have over 20 pounds of buoyancy. These are the best PFDs to keep you afloat in large and rough waters where rescue may be slow in coming. They are most commonly found on commercial crafts.

Near-Shore Buoyant Vest.

Also designed to turn an unconscious person to a vertical or slightly backward position, they are less bulky than a Type I. They have a minimum buoyancy of 15.5 pounds and are for calm, inland water where there is a chance of a fast rescue.

Flotation Aid.

These are generally considered the most comfortable PFDs. There are many sizes and styles for different boating activities. Except for the Type III inflatable life jacket, most are not designed to turn an unconscious person face-up and have a minimum buoyancy of 15.5 pounds.

Throwable Device.

These are designed to be thrown to someone in the water. They include boat cushions, rings and horseshoe buoys. Do not wear them on the back; they are designed to be grasped to the chest, not worn. Keep these immediately available for emergencies.

Special-Use Device.

These are wearable devices approved only for certain activities. The label shows its approved uses and limitations. Varieties include work vests, board sailing vests, and white water vests.