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Indiana DNR: Life jackets are required on inner tubes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An important reminder as we head into a very hot weekend – life jackets are required when floating on an inner tube. Indiana conservation officers say a Lafayette man floating in an inner tube fell into the water and died on Sunday.

“There’s a lot of under water hazards that you don’t see, things that can trap a leg, trap an arm,” said Lt. Angela Goldman.

That’s why Indiana law says you to have a life jacket on hand if you’re on an inner tube.

“We don’t require you to wear it, but we do require you to have it,” said Goldman.

She said people break this rule quite often.

“They think they are just going to float, it’s perfectly safe, nothing is going to happen to them,” said Goldman. “Ultimately, this is the cause of a lot of these drownings.”

Loved ones usually pay the price for that decision.

“There is just nothing worse for a family than to have to deal with that kind of outcome,” said Goldman.

Even the inner tubes you buy in stores have a warning on the label. The one at Pools of Fun in Brownsburg says, “This is not a life saving device, do not leave children unattended while it’s in use.”

Nathan James is the manager.

“Always read the warning label,” said James. “Because all of the floats in here are not life-saving devices. We don’t sell any of the life jackets that would be an approved life-saving device.”

You’ll want to look for the ones approved by the Coast Guard.

“It’s got foam in it, it’s not inflated so even if you are stuck in a current, you are stuck underwater, this is going to continue to float,” said Goldman. “It’s not like something that is inflatable that has the possibility of popping.”

You can get a ticket from Indiana Department of Natural Resources if you do not at least have a life jacket with you while on an inner tube.

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