Recent weather conditions have led to record-high water levels on lakes, rivers, and streams, creating heightened safety hazards and potential property damage along shorelines. As water levels continue to increase, it’s important to keep water safety in mind.
Speed and no-wake restrictions in effect for good reasons
Local watercraft controls and restrictions are in place for your safety and the safety of others. Wakes can cause water to overflow onto land or docks, which can lead to property damage, erosion, and flooding. Water that overflows onto a dock or marina that has electrical power running to it increases the risk of electric shock drowning.
River safety – wear your life jacket
High water levels can cause fast-flowing currents, deeper and colder water, unpredictable conditions and additional debris floating under the surface – especially on rivers. The law requires that all vessels, including kayaks and canoes, be equipped with a personal flotation device for each person.
Boat sober, stay in control of your watercraft
Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of deaths. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can also increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.
Great Lakes beach safety
Rip currents, high waves, and other dangerous currents and wave conditions can occur in the Great Lakes. Be aware of the colored flag system used to communicate swim risk levels and read helpful tips about how to escape water currents.