SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With Memorial Day just around the corner, Utah State Park Officials are urging the public to wear their life jackets as Utahns get ready for the recreation season to begin.

In the three water related deaths in the past two weeks, none of those involved were wearing life jackets.

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“Life jackets are essential pieces of safety gear for anyone venturing out onto the water,” Ty Hunter, Utah State Parks Boating Program Coordinator, says. “Nationally, 80% of people who drowned in boating accidents would have survived had they been wearing a life jacket.”

Utah law requires that there must be one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard a vessel. Life jackets must be readily accessible.

Ahead of the holiday weekend, Utah officials have also released a new humorous Public Service Announcement highlighting the same message of ‘Wear your Life Jacket’.

Utah officials point out that there are several different types of life jackets that are U.S. Coast Guard-approved.

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“Gone are the days of only wearing the big orange floaties your grandpa had,” Hunter said. “While those types of floatation devices still have their place, there are so many options available now that finding the perfect life jacket for your activity is easier than ever.”

Hunter also reminds Utahns that any one under the age of 13 are required to wear life jackets. Also, anyone participating in towing activities, anyone on a personal water craft or people who are on river sections that are not designated as flat water are required to wear a life jacket.

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