Boating safety, be prepared before you hit the water


MARQUETTE COUNTY– When it comes to boating, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says a great way to stay safe in the water is to do a safety check before heading out.

“Some of those safety things are personal floatation devices,” said John Kamps, Conservation Officer, Michigan DNR. “Boats that are 16-foot or longer are required to have at least a type one or type two or type three personal floatation device for every single person on board.”

Children six-years-old or younger should wear one at all times while on a boat.

“Additionally for those 16-foot or longer boats, they’re required to have a type four throwable PFD,” said Kamps. “That type four is required to come to someone whether it’s on your boat or a different boat. Something to come to the aide of someone in distress.”

In the event of an emergency, boats should also have fire extinguishers on board.

“Check that fire extinguisher frequently. Make sure that it’s fully charged and up-to-date,” said Kamps. “They are required to have at least three visual distressed signals that can be flare guns, flares, smoke grenades. lights or flags.”

There is also a new law boaters need to know and it’s to help stop the spread of aquatic species.

“All boats drain all their live wells and pull their drain plugs before leaving any kind of boat of water,” said Kamps. “That’s to prevent plants or animals from transporting into different lakes.”

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