GRDA Power For Progress Column May 28 2019

May 29, 2019

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Water safety always starts with a life jacket

The Grand River Dam Authority understands that being a good steward of the Grand River and the natural resources under its control also means helping educate and support all those who utilize those resources.

Because of that, the GRDA Police have made life jacket education and awareness a major part of its efforts for several decades now. On the water, in the classroom, at special events, from inside its booth at a boat show and just about anywhere else that an audience can listen and learn, you can find GRDA patrolmen promoting the benefits of life jackets and other personal flotation devices (PFDs).

And it’s a message that needs to be told. According to statistics from the latest Life Jacket Wear Rate Observation Study (2017), released by the United States Coast Guard, the average wear rate for all boaters combined that year was 24.8 percent. While that number represents the highest rate observed in several years, there is still plenty of room for improvement. After all, statistics also found that 76 percent of all 2017 fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drownings, 84.5 percent were NOT wearing a life jacket.

If you are going to be on the lakes or rivers, GRDA encourages you to ALWAYS wear your life jacket. And if you are just now gearing up for boating season and perhaps in the market for a new life jacket, the GRDA Police Department wants to share the following tips with you:

Your friends at GRDA want you to have a safe, enjoyable summer on the water. That always starts with wearing your life jacket.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: employees, electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship and efficiency.

Photo Caption Information:

Life jacket lessons… GRDA Police Officers Derrick Bidleman (standing) and Eric Gwartney share important life jacket tips with school children during a Camp Bandage event. If you are heading out onto the lakes or river anytime soon, make sure to wear your life jacket.




Justin Alberty
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Grand River Dam Authority
(918) 256 5545