Minnesota has recorded the highest number of boating fatalities since 2005, in which 17 people have lost their lives in boating accidents. While Fall is a great time to enjoy lakes and waterbodies, it is important for boaters to focus on boater safety. Colder water temperatures can create additional risks for those ending up in the water. Some safety tips are provided below:
- Wear a life jacket – foam life jackets are more effective than inflatables during the cold-water season.
- Distribute weight in the boat evenly and follow manufacturer’s weight limits to reduce the likelihood of falling overboard.
- Boaters should let other people know their itinerary and location and a means to contact them.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast for winds and storms.
- Even strong swimmers can be incapacitated quickly after a fall into cold water.
- Wear an engine cut-off device if your boat is equipped with one.