Each year drownings account for 70% or more of all boating fatalities. Of the people who drown, over 80% were not wearing a life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard has estimated that over 200 lives may be saved each year if people wore their life jacket.
Studies conducted by the BoatUS Foundation indicate that lack of comfort is the number one reason why life jackets are not worn in greater numbers. In fact, the average life jacket wear rate for boaters is generally around 20%.
The BoatUS Foundation believes that innovation and the application of new technology might entice more boaters to wear life jackets. If you are a creative thinker and have an idea for a new and innovative life jacket your ingenuity may help save lives. We donít have any rules as to what types of materials or designs are allowable. The Foundation wants you to come up with as many new, imaginative and out-of-the-box ideas as you can.
The Winning prize for the most innovative new design is $5,000. Best of all, your design is not required to meet US Coast Guard requirements to qualify or to win!