Shelby County may not have any large lakes for fishing and boating, but this is still a very valid topic. Many in the community own boats and travel to nearby lakes for fishing and recreation. Also, many of these tips are just as appropriate for navigating our many rivers and streams in Shelby County, or even a backyard pond.
Please stay safe and enjoy many boating seasons in the years to come!
Following is a press release from the Indiana DNR.
Lifejackets are focus of National Safe Boating week May 16-22
Indiana Conservation Officers will be joining other states in observing National Safe Boating week May 16-22, 2015. This public awareness campaign is just prior to Memorial Day weekend, which many people consider the kickoff to the boatingseason.
Conservation Officers are reminding boaters to know the rules of the water and offering a few tips for a safe excursion.
Reducing the boat’s speed in unfamiliar areas and being aware of unusual water conditions respective to the size and type of the boat are among the important environmental considerations. “A person is never too old to wear a lifejacket”, said Lt. Kenton Turner, Indiana’s Boating Law Administrator. “The majority of Indiana drownings on public waterways involve adults”.
Designating a sober boat operator is always a priority. “The concern we all associate with an intoxicated driver is compounded by other environmental factors when done while boating”, said Danny L. East, DNR Law Enforcement Director. “When alcohol is combined with boater fatigue caused by wave action, sun exposure and wind, reaction time and overall thought process is slowed substantially”.
New lifejackets are designed to be lighter, less obtrusive, and more comfortable. Inflatable lifejackets allow mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing or paddling, and are much cooler in warmer weather. There are many different types of inflatable lifejackets ranging from those that inflate instantly when submerged to those that are manually inflated. All are designed to be more comfortable than the traditional lifejacket.
Although not required by law, children playing along the shoreline or on a dock should wear a lifejacket. A drowning can occur quickly, with little or no sign the victim is struggling.
Indiana Conservation Officers offer the following safe boating tips:
- Be a defensive boat operator…creating distance from other boats equals more reaction time.
- Adjust your speed for the conditions…if visibility is poor, or the water is rough, slow down.
- Turn off the boat while entering or exiting the water.
- If you could still be out on the water after dark, check your navigational lights before leaving the dock or ramp.
- Each boat operator is responsible for doing whatever they can to avoid an accident. Don’t expect other boaters to move out of your way.
- Be courteous with your wake.
“Being on the water creates an added danger that must be respected. Our goal is for everyone to make it home safely at the end of the day”, said Lt. Turner
Boaters are reminded to contact 9-1-1 in an emergency or Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 if they need assistance or observe another boater operating in an unsafe manner.