JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Memorial Day is coming up in a couple of weeks. Which some people say is the unofficial kickoff of summer fun. But, before heading out to the lake, make sure you’re prepared.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Roe said, “reckless operation is a big concern here on the waters especially during the holidays and weekends and things like that.”
Each year Sheriff Departments across Mid-Michigan offer you the chance to become boater ready.
Eaton County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Hansbarger said, “we go over the requirements age wise so that you’re legal as far as when kid are able to operate watercraft depending on the horsepower in some cases.”
- If you were born on or after July 1st 1996, you must take a boater safety class if you plan on operating a watercraft six horsepower or more.
- If you were born after 1978 it is required to take these classes if you plan on operating a jetski.
- Remember to always have visible registration.
- Wear life jackets
“The biggest thing is, don’t put yourself and passengers and other boats at risk. If their safety isn’t a major concern you probably shouldn’t be doing the operation,” said Deputy Roe.
At least one person dies every day on average in boater related accidents. That may be attributed to a number of causes including not wearing your lifejacket or being reckless on the water. Which is why Sheriff Deputies recommend boater safety classes. Not just to get you registered, but also to stay alive.
“A couple years ago we did have a fatality. A gentleman fell off a boat and unfortunately he was never…he was recovered but that happens very seldom,” said Deputy Hansbarger.
“Are you allowed to drink alcohol on the water? You are. But, you cannot operate. Make sure you have a designated operator to take over the vessel when you decide to do that,” said Deputy Roe.
Nevertheless, have fun while you stay safe.