Memorial Day is this weekend and there will be a lot of people out on the lakes here in middle Tennessee. There was a spot on a news program this morning talking about how over 50% of Americans cannot swim. And the number is even high if you take into consideration that many of the ones that can swim do not swim well. And most people think they can swim better than they actually can.
Unfortunately, during the summer months, we hear of too many fatalities on our lakes and rivers. Wearing a life jacket and taking a few other safety precautions can save your life. Here are a few for your consideration.
1) Be conscious of weather conditions. The worst thing that could happen to you is being out on a lake during a severe thunderstorm with high wind and other dangerous conditions all around you. And in this area, the rain can be so heavy, you can’t see 20 feet in front of you.
2) Avoid alcohol. I know this is something a lot of people do, but use common sense and keep it under control. Not only are you putting your life at risk, you are endangering the lives of others.
3) Learn to swim better. As I mentioned at the start of this blog post, most people who can swim can’t swim as well as they think they can.
4) Educate your self in best boating practices. Know what to do in case of an emergency. Take a course or look online for courses. Some states require you to meet certain requirements before using your boat so be aware of these in your local area.
5) Make sure your boat is safe to take out on the water. Check all flotation devices (and use them), check for leaks, proper fuel levels, etc. A little time taken before entering the water can save a lot of heartache later.
6) Have a plan. How will you handle someone going overboard? What steps will you take and who will be the person responsible in case of an emergency? No matter how trivial some of these steps may seem, they are all important because they could save your life or the life of someone else who goes overboard.
Have fun and be safe this Memorial Day Weekend!