The dog days of summer are here and there’s no better way to enjoy them than a fun day at the lake. Going out on the boat, skiing, tubing, and fishing are all fun activities here in the Ozarks. Below are some basic boating safety tips for your next day out on the lake.
Wear a Life Jacket:
Wearing a life jacket is an important part of boating safety. There are a variety of life jackets available but make sure to use a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Make sure the life jacket fits correctly. Raise both arms straight up and if the life jacket touches your chin or ears the life jacket may be too big or the straps too loose.
Watch the Weather:
Keep an eye on the weather for any changes. Always check the weather before departing for the possibility of storms. A shift in temperature or winds can change the water resulting in larger swells that may result in unsafe boating conditions.
Don’t Dive into Open Water:
You never know what is under the water or exactly how deep it is. A lot of lakes around Missouri were created by damming an area and filling it with water. That means there can be old structures such as bridge trusses just under the current water level that you may not be able to see. Jumping into water that has not been safely roped off for use could result in injury.
Having a cool drink on a hot day can be refreshing but if that drink is alcoholic the chance of an accident increases. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. Avoiding alcohol is the safest option when boating.