Boating safety tips ahead of Independence Day celebrations

NOW: Boating safety tips ahead of Independence Day celebrations

ST, JOSEPH, Mich. -- Independence Day means many will be heading to Lake Michigan for celebrations, but safety while having fun is a top priority for the Department of Natural Resources. While remembering to pack your sunglasses and sunblock might be a priority the DNR says you should also bring a life jacket to prevent accidents from happening.

“If you’re going out on the river, the lake, on a boat, or kayak have a float plan. Let somebody know where you’re going, when you’re going, and when you’re planning on coming back," says Travis Dragomer, Michigan Conservation Officer for the Department of Natural Resources.

“You know accidents are one of those things that you never plan on happening and you never want them to happen, but you always got to be prepared for them," says Zach Bauer, Michigan Conservation Officer for the Department of Natural Resources.

For those planning on boating having a life jacket, not drinking while driving, and keeping a safe enough distance from other vessels are just some of ways the team says you can avoid accidents.

“This weekend is a little windier. Wave heights are about 2-3 feet today when I checked a little bit ago so definitely wave heights plays a factor as well," said Bauer.

For those hitting the beach rip currents are a concern going into this weekend, but Dragomer says just paying attention to flag colors is the best way to avoid drownings.

“If it’s green obviously that’s your safest bet. Yellow and red have some issues for concern that you want to think about. Obviously take that very seriously when they lost those flags it’s for a reason," said Dragomer.

The team says alcohol is one of the number causes of fatal boat accidents so they’ll be actively monitoring the waters this weekend making sure everyone stays safe.

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