APPLING, Ga. (WJBF) – Major League Fishing and the US Army Corps of Engineers teamed up to promote water safety for students at North Columbia Elementary School.

“Life jackets, personal flotation device, same thing, those are important for people to wear when they’re in a boat. It helps you float, you gotta keep your nose, your mouth, above the surface of the water, because you can’t breathe under water, you’re not a fish,” said David Quebedeaux, of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Army Corps of Engineers believe it’s important to get this information to kids at an early age. We have a water community, there’s a lot of places for kids to get into. Water, ponds, ditches, lake, river, we want to make sure they have a lifetime of knowledge and fun, that is safe,” said Quebedeaux.

Around the lake it’s now easier than ever to get a life jacket.

“The US Army Corps of Engineers has many beaches around the lake and they have life jacket loaner stations at most of them where you can borrow a life jacket, use it for the day, and then put it back,” said Quebedeaux.

With a big Major League Fishing Tournament happening at Clarks Hill Lake, professional angler Charlie Evans was able to stop by with his boat to help bring home the message.

“Our message is simple, it’s wearing a life jacket. Charlies provide a practical example with how they wear their life jackets while they’re fishing and all the safety measures they take,” said Chief Park Ranger, Henry Way.

“We want to make sure we’re wearing our PFD, our life jacket, every time that big engine is running we need to have that life jacket on, zipped up and buckled up. The driver needs to have the ignition shut off device attached to his body. Safety is the number one important thing,” said Evans.

The presentation was a big hit with students and the information they learned will stay with them for years to come.

“We hope the kids will have a lifetime of outdoor activity that is safe, where they come out to the lake and they play, they boat, they mountain bike, they hunt and they enjoy the woods and they enjoy this world,” said Quebedeaux.