Minnesota DNR Reminds Everyone to Stay Safe on the Lakes

Authorities remind the public about boat and water safety tips for the Fourth of July holiday

BECKER COUNTY, Minn. — It’s no surprise if you live in the Valley you might be spending Fourth of July on the lakes.

Some celebrate the Fourth of July with food on the grill, fireworks in the sky and boats on the lake; however, being on the water could be dangerous if you’re not playing by the rules.

“On a holiday weekend, once the sun comes out and it warms up a little bit, there will be a lot of people out here and boats going in every direction,” said Angela Warren, Minnesota State Conservation Officer.

“We’re just going to boat and try a little bit of fishing and enjoy the overcast day. It’s not too windy, I guess,” said Jeff Panzer.

Warren recommends keeping your distance from other boaters.

“If you get too close to water skiers, tubers, those types of things and then they can have crashes,” said Warren.

“Be aware of what’s going on. You got to watch out for everybody when you’re out here, and just take your time and enjoy it,” said Panzer.

Even though you’ll be surrounded by water, fire hydrants are a must.

“Obviously these are run by gas, you’re in the middle of a lake. If something were to happen, do you really want to be out in the middle of the water with no way to put out a fire,” said Warren.

While life jackets might not be comfortable, Warren says they could mean the difference between life and death.

“A lot of people say I’m a good swimmer, I don’t need a life jacket but all it takes is an accident and to be knocked unconscious when you go under the water,” said Warren.

Warren says the most important thing to remember is drinking and driving is a no-go, whether you’re on the roads on the water.

“Make sure you do have a sober operator of the watercraft. It is allowed to have an open container the driver can have an open container but obviously they can’t be over the legal limit,” said Warren.

Boating can be fun, but safety always comes first.

“Come out to the lakes to have fun and just sit back relax and enjoy yourself,” said Panzer.

For more information on how to stay safe while on the water, click here.

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