Prepare Now To Boat Safely This Summer

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends May as a good time to inspect your boating equipment and review safety tips to prepare for the summer boating season.

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges water enthusiasts to check boat equipment and review basic safety tips to prepare for the upcoming water season.

“Safety is an important part of water fun,” said Lt. Darren Kuhn, DNR boating law administrator. “Wisconsin rivers and lakes can be relaxing and family-friendly places to spend a spring day when you put safety first and respect the water.”

Check that your boat and trailer lights and safety equipment are in working order to save time and frustration at the boat launch. A full checklist of required equipment is available on the last page of the Wisconsin Boating Laws and Responsibilities Handbook.

It’s also important to inspect your life jackets for wear and tear. Most inflatable jackets should be checked for leaks every six months, and the cartridge should be checked before each use. The jacket manufacturer’s website should have instructions on how to check your life jacket status.

Follow the safety tips below and enjoy Wisconsin’s great lakes and rivers with family and friends.

  • Sign up now to take an online boater education course.
  • Always wear a properly fitted and fastened life jacket when you’re on or near the water. A life jacket will keep you on top of the water if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, a wave or current overpower you or you fall out of a boat.
  • Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person’s judgment, reaction time and abilities.
  • River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can tax an individual’s boating, paddling and swimming skills.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and always tell someone where you are going.

Be ready for the unexpected, and always wear your life jacket. Learn more boating safety tips on the DNR’s Boat Safety webpage.

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