Summer is in full swing, the weather is finally heating up and that normally means going out on the Lakes to swim, or enjoy your boat. I have noticed a number of news stories about boating accidents, involving injuries and sometimes even fatalities and in each and every case the accidents were caused by inattentive drivers or alcohol.
There are many rules to keep you safe but these are the ten most often noted by the Wisconsin DNR. I think they deserve to be repeated.
10 Rules of Boating Safety
1. Always wear an approved Personal Flotation Device (life jacket), including your pets.
2. Avoid excessive speed.
3. Never consume drugs or alcohol before or while
operating a boat.
4. Know your limitations and your boat’s limitations.
5. Don’t sit or allow your passengers to sit on the
gunwales, bow, or seat backs while underway.
6. Don’t overload or overpower your vessel.
7. Follow the rules of navigation.
8. Make sure navigation lights are on during periods of
9. Be aware of shallow water areas and submerged
objects prior to going out
10. Be aware of other boats, personal water craft, boats, paddle boards and swimmers.
In Wisconsin we are blessed to have so many beautiful lakes right out our front doors, and they are a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends, either fishing, seeing the sights, swimming or perhaps water skiing. In addition to large water craft there are many of us that love to sail, kayak, canoe, use a paddle board or to swim.
If you are the captain of your vessel you MUST keep your eyes and ears open for smaller crafts, swimmers, and even out of control drivers. If you see someone who is drinking and boating or just driving erratically than report them to the police or Coast Guard. Remember this, "the life you safe may be your own" or your families.
Remember the water is for everyone, be safe, and be responsible.
Enjoy your Summer!