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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This is the first day of National Safe Boating Week 2012, with special emphasis on what you wear when you’re on the water.

The term “life jacket” may have been replaced by “personal flotation device,” but there’s still nothing better in case you fall overboard. Joe Thomas, host of a fishing show on the Outdoor Channel, is promoting going beyond what the law may require, sometimes by analogy.

“I relate it a lot of times to seat belts, and when we were growing up, seats were like, you just didn’t wear them, even if your car had them. You didn’t think about it. You stood in the seat when you were a kid. Our kids don’t do that, and I think life jacket awareness, personal floatation device, is the same way.”

Thomas says life jackets are not all that expensive ($8 at the low end) and have become a lot less cumbersome. Some auto-inflate when you hit the drink, at which time it’s too late to consider your choice of safety gear.

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