UPDATE: How long can you tread water? House votes to repeal survival craft requirement

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1987, legislation that repeals the statutory requirement that existing passenger vessels, such as whale watching boats and party fishing boats, carry survival craft that will keep you out of the water.

This is a deadly step backward for the safety of the passengers and crew on these types of excursions.

This is the type of survival craft they want you to hold onto to save your life:

Life float photo

Many people will have a difficult time holding onto this in the ocean – let alone children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. These devices were first approved by the Federal Government in 1901 when there were no alternatives.  Today there are devices on the market that can keep you out of the water.

The owners small passenger vessels such as whale watching boats and party fishing boats are willing to take your money for you to have an enjoyable day on the water – but are not willing to keep you out of the water of things do not go as expected. They have the same belief as the owner of the TITANIC had in 1912 – their vessel won’t sink.

That is why this change is opposed by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) which includes organizations such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Easter Seals.

If you would like to read more background material on this issue, please read my other blog post titled “Congress to vote to repeal Survival Craft requirement.”

I do not believe that any Members of Congress who voted for this provision took up my challenge to hold onto one of these craft for 2 hours 20 miles off the coast of San Diego – with or without their a hand tied behind their back.

If you don’t want to have to tread water when your excursion vessel is in trouble, you may want to contact your Senator to oppose section 302 of H.R. 1987. You can enter your zip code in the attached link and it will help you make that contact.  Link: Contact your Senator.

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