There are a lot of boats are on Northwoods lakes and rivers, and a Northwoods law enforcement officials says safe boating is no accident.
DNR Recreational Safety Warden Justin Bender in Woodruff says this time of the year is a good time to reaquaint yourself with the rules about being on the open water. He says the rules books are available at bait shops and other outlets.
But he says many people are a bit casual about a key safety device, the personal floatation device or lifejacket when on the boat..
"....a lot of times people have those accessible or in the boat, but when something happens, it's unrealistic to think you can go grab it when you need it. Statistically, a lot of the injuries and fatalities occur from not having a lifejacket on...."
Bender says of the 25 boating fatalities last year, nearly half involved operators who were drinking while driving. More than 100 serious injuries were reported. He says anyone can benefit from taking a boating safety course.
He says silent sport boating is increasing, and those recreationalists also need to be aware of safety on the water...
"....just knowing how those different types of silent sport equipment works and what is better suited for what you want to do with it. Whether it's a sit-on or a recreational type of kayak, planning that out and maybe not just buying anyone you see on sale. First, identify what you want to use it for and getting more information before you buy it. That way it's better suited for the water and what you plan to do with it...."
Here's a link at the DNR website with boating safety information.