Every sport has its inherent dangers, you need to wear a helmet if you are at bat when playing Baseball. If you are hunting you should always wear orange so you can be seen from other hunters. If you ride bikes for exercise again a helmet is an important item for personal safety. When you are fishing on a boat a life vest showed be worn at all times. And I am sure you can all understand this should apply to float tube fishing as well.
There have been many talks about this, some feel it is not important enough to be on you at all times, as long as they can reach it when they need it. Some feel it should always be on when you are in the water, and others can go either way. It should be explained that the PFD is not for those moments when you decide to take a spill in your float tube. They are also not worn for those moments when you get a slow leak and might not make it back to shore. No PFD's are for those moments that happen fast and are very unexpected.
It is a jungle out there on the water, and being that we are small in the profile we are missed by a lot of other water users sometimes. There have been stories of kayakers running into tubers and coming up the back of the tube and hitting the tuber in the head. Stories of jetskiers coming way to close and causing trouble for tubers. Stories of tubes losing air faster then one can react or flipping upside down while in the float tube. All of these stories have had common themes, the tubers wearing there PFD's.
These life vests where not close by or floating behind them for a "quick toss them on because something is going bad". They were on the tuber and ready to do what they were purchased for. Whether you are wearing an inflatable life vest or an old orange PFD, make sure it is on you at all times. Remember you are wearing your PFD for the unexpected so put it on and keep it on please we think you are worth it.