The following are important boater safety reminders for safe and fun boating this 4th of July. These safety tips will help keep you safe as well as help you avoid receiving citations for some of the most common violations seen by Water Patrol. Safety is always a priority!
- Sober Captain and Sober Youth. Designate a sober captain to operate your boat. The blood alcohol limit for boating is 0.08 percent, the same as the limit for driving an automobile. In Minnesota, the penalties for BUI are similar to operating an automobile.
- Drinking alcohol under 21 years of age or providing alcohol to underage people is also illegal. For everyone else, practice moderation. The hot temperatures amplifies the effects of alcohol. The use of alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities according to the US Coast Guard. More information about effects of alcohol at https://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/boating-under-the-influence.php
- PFDs. Wear a life jacket on the boat or even near the water. Make sure they are U.S. Coast Guard approved and fit properly. Youth under 10 years of age must wear PFDs.
- Throwables. Don’t forget a throwable floatation device. An easily accessible Type IV throwable is required on watercraft 16 feet or longer in length (except canoes/kayaks).
- Riding the Gunwales or Decking. It is unsafe and illegal to ride on the gunwales or decking while underway.
- Carbon Monoxide. Marine grade alarms are required for specified watercraft.
- Fire Extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are required on board. However, be prepared to jump ship since a fire can get out of control quickly.
- Boat Equipment. Make sure your boat is in good condition and has all the required safety equipment. Make sure you are ready for an emergency situation or to help others if needed.
- Litter. Carry off the lake what you bring in. Help keep Lake Minnetonka clean and litter free.
- AIS. Prevent the spread of AIS by making sure your watercraft is clean before entering Lake Minnetonka and implement the clean, drain, dry and dispose techniques upon leaving the lake.
- Boater Preparation. Before going boating, let someone know your itinerary. Know the rules and keep a safe distance from kayaks, canoes, and other watercraft.
- Weather. Be prepared for the weather. Stay off or leave the lake when there is lightning or damaging winds. In hot weather, be sure to stay hydrated and implement appropriate sun protection measures.
It is one of Lake Minnetonka’s busiest days and patience with other lake users is often necessary. In case of emergencies, call 911. Extra law enforcement and emergency responders will be on the lake to help make the celebration safe and enjoyable for everyone!
More tips on keeping yourself and others healthy:
Posted on: July 1st, 2020