According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 76% of annual boating deaths occur due to drowning. Of the victims, almost 85% were not wearing a life jacket, two-thirds of whom were considered strong swimmers.
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that all boats have approved, wearable life jackets ON BOARD for every person on the boat. Safety advocates, however, recommend that everyone onboard WEARS a life jacket at all times. Accidents happen quickly, and time spent finding stowed life jackets and putting them on can mean the difference between life and death.