SPOKANE, Wash. -

Tragedy on area lakes and rivers over the weekend after a 14-year-old drowned in Blue Lake and a woman is in critical condition after being pulled from the Spokane River. In both cases a personal floatation device could have prevented both incidents.

It's the law in Spokane County to wear them when you're on the water and something the Spokane County Sheriff's Office intends to enforce.

Four-year-old Andre Waagenaar plays in the Spokane River, but not without his trusty life jacket and his mom watching from close by.

Mom Heather Waagenaar said if the swimsuit is on so is the vest.

"He won't even go into the water without it on. So he's actually pretty good about it," she said.

In Spokane County if you're on any moving water you must wear a life jacket.

"Why does our marine unit go out and enforce that so strictly? Exactly from what you saw happen this weekend," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

In Spokane Valley a couple was swimming and drinking over the weekend. A bet to swim across the river ended with the woman drowning and later being resuscitated. It's something a life jacket would have prevented..

"One size does not fit all, so there are a multitude of size from youth through double extra large. This life jacket can save your life, if worn," said John Schwartz, store manager at Mountain Gear.

Schwartz said the biggest complaint of personal floatation devices is the comfort. He suggests finding one that fits the activity you're doing.

"If the jacket is comfortable you're willing to wear it, wear it properly. If worn properly it will save your life," he said.

There's even some that won't inflate until you want them to.

"Put it on, try it in the store before you buy it," said Schwartz.

It's also not good enough to have it close by, you have to be wearing it.

"We want to make sure that if something happens, they're safe. Because we would much rather go out and have a rescue versus a recovery," said Chamberlin.

Because no one wants to lose a loved one.

"He's my little guy, he's my only little boy," Heather Waagenaar said of her son Andre.

You can get a life vest for as little as $20 but you if it's not comfortable you won't want to wear it, so spend a little extra if you need as it's your life we're talking about.