Safe Boating Week Begins With Deadly Cold Water
The late return of boats to the Northwoods waters brings about a reminder this week with National Safe Boating Week.
DNR Boating Law Administrator Roy Zellmer says the most common mistake boaters make this time of year has to do with temperature: the air is warm but the water can be deadly cold to someone who falls in....
"....air temperatures may be comfortable, you're in shirts and t-shirts...when you hit that water, anything that's below your normal body temperature will move you into that hypothermic stage...."
He says life jackets remain a key for safe boating...
".....most of our deaths are drowning deaths. They can come from simple falls overboard while you're out fishing for the day. Have not only access to the life jacket but wearing it..."
Zellmer says of the 23 boating fatalities in Wisconsin last year, 18 were drowning, with only two persons wearing life jackets. 91 percent of the victims since 2007 were NOT wearing lifejackets. Zellmer says having a sober driver at the helm is as important as when you drive a car, especially with a high-speed motor boat.