Boating Safety – PSA – Chad Sharpe

[theme music] Hi, my name is Chad Sharpe. I’ve been a professional wake boarders for thirteen years. I get paid to travel the world, compete, and promote wake boarding. I’m here for the Water Sports Foundation to talk to you about wearing a life jacket. Even though I am a pro rider I take the same precautions as any smart recreational rider. A couple of years ago In our off season. Went out to take a ride, didn’t have a vest in the boat. I was out riding and uh, just doing You know, basic tricks and was doing a trick that I do every single day, a back side five-forty. and caught my edge real hard. I didn’t go unconscious or anything was upside down you know, looking up at the top of the water with my feet still in my bindings. And I’m like all right, you know, that one really hurt. You know, gotta swim up to the top my whole body is not moving. I kinda start panicking. I’m um I can’t move my hands. I can’t get to the top. Luckily I had a full breath. And I knew the boat was coming back around. And my board was still on top. About the time I got back to the top of the water I saw the boat was getting pretty close And I was kinda yelling to tell them to get back kinda quick and my fingers were starting to move again and luckily the driver was experienced and got me back on the back of the boat real quick and just laid me on my back kind of like on a backboard and over the next 15 or 20 minutes I slowly started getting the motion back into my hands and back into my arms and stuff but had I come out of my board I would have just kept sinking to the bottom. and looking at the top going well this great I cant swim up the boats not going to find me. the waters dark and just it definitely is a cautionary tale of wear a life jacket that if I would have had a life jacket on I would have been to the top. Now I definitely make it a habit of never not wearing a vest. I was really lucky I learned the most important lesson of my life to always wear a life jacket. Just Wear It! [theme music]

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