The statistics below make it painfully clear that wearing a life jacket saves lives. In 2008, 91% of the drowning victims were NOT wearing life jackets. This is shown in the top line of the second table below: out of a total of 510 people who died from drowning, 459 people were not wearing life jackets when they drowned. Compare this to 46 drowning victims, or 9% of the total, who were wearing life jackets. That means that the odds of surviving an accident on the water are significantly increased by wearing a life jacket.