LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Getting ready to take out your boat, kayak, canoe, or other watercraft this summer? The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds us that it’s always “sea-worth it” to keep boating safety tips in mind.
“Make sure you have all of the appropriate safety equipment on board your vessel, including an appropriate life jacket for each person,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, who manages the DNR’s recreational safety, education, and enforcement programs. “Kayakers and canoers are also required to have life jackets.”
Around 84% of people who drowned were not wearing life jackets, according to boating safety data from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Michigan’s high water levels make the use of life jackets even more critical because they can help someone stay afloat if suddenly stuck in a strong current or riptide or navigating through debris beneath the water’s surface, including rocks, downed trees or submerged piers.
Drowning is the cause of death in 76% of all boating-related fatalities, according to the Michigan DNR.
Most boating-related deaths happened on boats operated by people who had not received boating safety instruction, according to the National Safe Boating Council.
Michigan requires most people who operate a boat to have a safety certificate.