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A long vacation weekend is just around the corner. Boat Safety Is Key – Hometown Focus

Don't just bring your own life jacket when you're on the boat. Ninety percent of boat fatalities in the state were not wearing lifejackets.

Don’t just bring your own life jacket when you’re on the boat. Ninety percent of the state’s fatal boating victims were not wearing lifejackets.

Minnesota’s summer boating season is finally in full swing. While anglers and rowers have been out at sea for weeks, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the traditional recreational boating season when the waterways are busy with all manner of users.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, everyone who breeds in the water has a role to play in keeping Minnesota’s lakes and rivers safe.

“Our waterways are Minnesota’s greatest natural gems, and the number of people using them is truly amazing,” said Lisa Dugan, Recreational Safety Assistance Coordinator for DNR’s Executive Office. “There’s nothing better than memories on the water. A little preparation can turn those memories into positive memories.”

Below are safety tips for all boaters to make the start of the summer boating season fun, memorable and safe, regardless of experience or skill level.

Don’t just wear a life jacket, wear it. Ninety percent of the state’s fatal boating victims were not wearing lifejackets. The law requires children under the age of 10 to wear lifejackets while boats are underway, but the best way for boaters of all ages to get home safely is to wear lifejackets. is to

Leave alcohol on shore. Boating under the influence is not only illegal, it is also the number one cause of fatal boating accidents.

Check your safety equipment. Make sure your lifejacket fits well and is in good condition, and on motorboats make sure your navigation lights, sound generator, fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detector are in good condition. Also, check the engine cut-off strap and always wear it while sailing.

Beware of high water areas. Water levels across the state are high this year. High water can make access difficult, but it also poses a safety risk as danger hides below the surface.

Make your awakening your own. Large wakes can have environmental impacts (e.g. cause shoreline erosion) and can pose a hazard to other people recreationally on the water.

Please brush up on the rules. Read the 2023 Minnesota Boat Guide and expand your knowledge with online education courses. For more information, including boater education requirements and information about safe boating, please visit the Boat Safety webpage on the DNR website.

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