Whether you are going out fishing or taking the family skiing, boating safety is a must. Here are some helpful hints that will allow your time on the water to be fun.

Before heading out onto the water, check your boat for the following:

bulletLifejackets: Are there enough for everyone? Are they the right size?
bulletEmergency flares: Are they current and up to date?
bulletSignaling device, such as a horn: Is it working properly? Is it loud enough?
bulletBright orange flag: Is it ripped? Easy to get to?
bulletFirst Aid kit: Is it dry and current? Is it easy to find in an emergency? Do you know how to use it?
bulletOars: Do you have 2? Are they solid and not cracked?
bulletGas/fuel: Do you have enough for you trip?
bulletHull drain plug: Is it in place and tight?
bulletIs the deck clear of trip hazards?
bulletDo you have a cell phone or marine radio? Is it working? Does your cell phone have a good charge on it?
bulletDo you have enough to drink should you get too hot? (Water or soda, not alcoholic beverages.)

While you are out on the water, be sure to keep an eye out for others. They may not be watching for you, so you need to watching for them. If somebody is coming your way and you can't move, such as when you have the anchor dropped, use the horn and flag to get their attention.

Swimming in deep waters can be fun, but be sure to keep a flotation device handy should somebody have problems getting back in the boat.

Love to water ski or tube? Many people do, and we want you to enjoy yourself. But always make sure the people outside of the boat have life jackets on. Never leave people alone in the water when you take off. A head bobbing in the water is much too hard to see for somebody else that's moving along. If you ski and fall or drop, hold up one ski and face towards any other boats around. This will make it easier for them to see you.

Make sure you have a "spotter" in the boat when pulling a skier or somebody on a tube. They can tell you if the person falls and you need to go back.

Most of all, use common sense. Others on the lake may not be looking out for you, so you need to look out for them.

Last updated: 05/30/2021