Professional anglers led the way to mandatory life jacket wear when tournament fishing was popularized decades ago. Initially, the rules required anglers to wear the life saving devices only when the main motor was running. It made sense considering the speeds that V-6 and V-8 outboards generated. The consequence of ejection, though rare, was dramatic. But over time, the rule for mandatory wear stretched to the entire time the tournament ran. Why? First, smaller, lower horsepower boats accounted for a startling number of overboard events and second, angler exposure to ejection was not reduced while standing to cast lures while under slower, trolling speed electric power.
Could this happen to you?