The United States Coast Guard and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources want to help keep you safe this summer on the water. This week is National Safe Boating Week, and the United States Coast Guard recommends before leaving the shore on your boat that you check to make sure it’s ready to launch. You should look over all the safety equipment that is on board, make sure lights are functional, registration is current, engine cut-off lanyard and plug are present – and don’t forget to make sure you have one life jacket per person on board. Today’s life jackets are more comfortable, lightweight, and stylish than the old bulky orange style of the past. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets that allow for more mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, or paddling and are cooler in the warmer weather. Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering a courtesy vessel safety check for your boat if it is 65 feet long or smaller. You can click here to schedule your free boat safety check.
Here are other tips on boating safety by the Wisconsin DNR:
Always wear a properly fitted life jacket that has a snug fit and is fastened when you're on or near the water. Life jackets will keep you on top of the water if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, or a wave or current overpowers you or you fall out of a boat.
Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person's judgment, reaction time, and abilities.
River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can overpower an individual's boating, paddling, and swimming skills.
Keep an eye on the weather and let someone know where you are going.
(Photo courtesy of USCG)