Don’t Rock The Boat: Keep Peace On The Water With Safe Behavior | New

As many Minnesota residents hit the lakes this summer, practicing boat safety and etiquette can make your time on the lake less likely to cause nasty waves with other boaters on the water.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are unspoken rules to follow for good boating etiquette. It starts at the boat launch or dock before your boat goes into the water.

“The past year has been a busy year on the state’s waterways, and the boating season is expected to be busy again,” said Lisa Dugan, Marine Safety Awareness Coordinator. recreation of the MRN. The launch label means “to have

patience at the ramps and making sure everything is ready before launching your boat so that you have a smooth transition, ”she noted.

While on the water, own your wake. A sure way to cause a problem with another boater is to throw a big, intrusive wave at another boat, swimmer, angler, or shore owner. It could be dangerous for people unable to handle a large wake. Boaters should stay at least 200 feet from shore and other boaters, according to MNR.

“Each boat creates a wake. Make sure to check your wake if you go by smaller fishing boats or paddlers, ”said Dugan. “Paddlers have been seriously injured as boaters overtake them and the wake overturns their boats.”

Boaters should be familiar with water markers and water body navigation rules to avoid a collision. They also need to know if the lake they are on has a speed limit or a slow no-wake zone restriction. It is the boater’s responsibility to respect the rules and follow them. Boaters should always remember that they are responsible for any damage they cause to other people’s property, according to the MNR.

Since music and sound are amplified over the water, boaters should keep the volume at an appropriate level. This can be disturbing for some people and can also prevent the operator from hearing an observer when someone is waterskiing, tubing or boarding on their knees.

While you are in the boat, keep the garbage out of the water. Have a trash can on board or in a plain garbage bag. Disposing of waste properly keeps the water clean and off the banks.

Dugan said boaters should remember that if they have children on the boat, they are learning nautical behavior from you. When you lead by example, children tend to follow your lead.

The boating etiquette is also about safe behavior on the water. In 2020, there were 16 boating-related deaths in Minnesota, up from 10 in 2019. The 2019 figure, according to Dugan, was a record high.

“Thirteen of the 16 deaths in 2020 were not known to wear a life jacket, and 15 of the 16 deaths in 2020 were males,” Dugan said.

There has been one boating fatality in the state so far in 2021. According to the MNR, 30% of boating-related fatalities in Minnesota occur in cold water.

“Ice cleared early on many lakes in Minnesota this year, but the water hasn’t warmed as quickly as you might expect,” said Dugan. “The water temperatures are off a date on the calendar. Although we have had open water for weeks now, the water remains dangerously cold and a predicted fall could be fatal. Vigilance is essential whenever you are at the water’s edge, but especially when it is cold. “

As temperatures continue to rise, water temperatures across the state are typically around 50 degrees, which is cold enough to cause a gasp reflex and incapacitate even the strongest swimmers in less time. ‘one minute.

Dugan noted that a Minnesota Operator’s License (boating license) is required for youth ages 12 to 17 to operate a motor boat over 25 horsepower. They can operate a 25- to 75-horsepower motorboat without a driver’s license as long as there is a person at least 21 years old on board with them.

For young people interested in obtaining an operator’s license, the MNR offers an online boating safety course that lasts approximately 8 to 10 hours.

“The course walks you through the boating and state requirements. The online course has improved a bit by being more interactive. If you get a wrong answer, it reinforces the correct answer, and that question will come back in the test, ”said Dugan. “There are more videos and they don’t contain a lot of text. You learn the skills you need. “

About Patricia Kilgore

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