Boaters reminded to stay safe over the holiday weekend

Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 3:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - If you were anywhere near body of water Sunday, you probably noticed a lot of folks towing their boats.

“I love being out on the water,” boater Chad Burns said. “I moved back up here from Florida about two and half years ago.”

As folks like Burns and others take in a relaxing weekend on the river or nearby lakes, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is asking everyone to be safe.

“The weather can change the water conditions very quickly,” Indiana DNR officer Jim Hess said. “It can go from being a very smooth surface to very rough.”

Hess said whether folks are in boats or kayaks, they need to always remember safety first.

He hit on the most important thing you people need to do to stay safe.

“We ask that everyone have a wearable life vest in whatever type of boat or whatever other watercraft they are in,” Hess said.

State law in Kentucky and Indiana require a life vest on board for each boater.

Should someone accidentally fall into the water officers are asking you to remember the following:

“Reach, throw, row, go. If you can reach the person definitely reach out, get a hold of them and pull them to safety,” Hess said.

If you can’t reach them, throw something in the water to pull the victim in.

If that doesn’t work, row your boat to the overboard swimmer.

Officers said only as a last resort should you go jump in and help.

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