Water Safety Tips

With the weather finally warming up after a long winter, people are flocking to the lakes to boat, fish and swim. Have fun and be safe!

Always wear a life jacket. North Carolina law requires children under 13 to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Wearing a life jacket is the single best way to stay safe on the lakes.

Watch for severe weather. Never go boating during storms. Do not get in the water if you see lightning.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment and is a contributing factor in about one in five boating fatalities. Do not swim if you have been drinking. Review the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s “Boating Checklist” to make sure you have the necessary equipment on board and operating correctly.

You can view the checklist online at: www.ncwildlife.org. Get a free safety inspection from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Take a free boating education course from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Courses are required for boat operators under 26 years old.

Use the buddy system. Avoid boating alone. If you are alone, make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.

Have an emergency plan. Make sure you have a working marine radio and a charged mobile phone so you can call for help in an emergency.

Do not overload the boat. Boats that are weighted down are more likely to tip over.

Be careful near dams. Stay a safe distance from dams. Do not go past the warning signs and buoys located above and below the dams.

Never swim alone.

Stay in designated swim areas.

Always keep a close eye on children and inexperienced swimmers. These swimmers should always wear a life jacket.

For More Information

Visit these links for more information about boating safety: www.boatingsidekicks.com