Operation Life Saver at Gulfport Harbor

Bad weather, especially unexpected changes in conditions while out on the water, has caused many boating accidents over the years.

According to the Coast Guard’s latest statistics, in 2018, 11 people lost their lives and 21 others were injured in accidents involving recreational boats in Mississippi.

As evidenced midday Wednesday when a water spout ripped through the west end of the Gulfport Harbor, the weather can take a turn for the worst in a matter of seconds.

Same goes for boating, but buckling up in a life jacket drastically increases your safety and survival chances if tragedy strikes you on the water.

Just one reason Riemann Family Funeral Homes launched ‘Operation Life Saver’ back in 2018. Riemann Family Funeral Homes Manager Addison Riemann said, “It’s just a way we can give back to the community. We thought it was a good idea, especially considering our geographic location and proximity to the water.”

Drowning is the cause of death in 80 percent of accidents involving a fatality nationwide. In 85 percent of those, the victim was not wearing a life jacket. ‘Operation Life Saver’ aims to drive that number down. “Anybody can use it. It’s an honor system, so as you borrow one, we just ask that you bring it back and put it back on the rack for the next person.”

According to state and federal law, children age 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket on any vessel under 26 feet while boating is underway and that’s not all marine patrols look out for. “Not only is it required for children 12 and under but you also have to have a life vest for every person you have on the boat or you will get a ticket.”

While a water spout knocked down a few signs along the west side of the Gulfport Harbor Wednesday, ‘Operation Life Saver’ still stands with two life vests available and more to come next week, just in time for the Independence Day Holiday weekend, and you can pitch in. “If you’d like to donate a life jacket, a gently used life jacket, something similar to these, we will accept them at anyone of our funeral homes across the Coast. We have five locations. If you’re not sure where we’re located, you can give us a call and  I’ll direct you to the closest one.”

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *