Saturday, March 31, 2012

Safety First Lake Wedowee Boating Safety Tips

Here is a quick Lake Wedowee Safety checklist compiled with the help of Marine Police Officer Barry Popham and Kathy Morris of Wedowee Marine.  Please look over and take note of these tips. There may be some you had not thought of before.

· Take a safe boating course; you might be surprised about what you don’t know about boating safety (and it may even give you a discount on your boat insurance)!

· Just like on the highway, drinking and boating is against the law. In many ways, it can be even more dangerous. Leave your alcohol at home!

· Check the weather forecast.

· Let someone know where you are heading and what time you expect  to be back.

· Many people put their boats in the water without first checking belts, fluids and motors, and end up having to be towed in. Make sure your boat is in good working order before taking it out. 

· Know the state boating laws for Alabama.

· Follow manufacturers suggested procedures before starting up.

· Lake levels fluctuate daily. Check lake levels before each trip out on the lake.

· Follow nautical rules of the road, buoys, and other aids for navigation.

· Watch your wake and keep a safe distance from docks and other structures, swimmers, and other boats. It’s the law, it’s courteous, and it’s for everyone’s safety.

· Have Coast Guard approved life jackets for all passengers.  All passengers under 8 must wear a life vest at all times while onboard.

· Have a first aid kit on board at all times. Also bring  your cell phone, extra dry clothes, sunscreen and insect repellent.

· Please keep hold of your trash – items such as drink cups, cans, old fishing line, and bait containers can easily be blown into the water, especially from a moving boat. Not only do these items pollute the earth,  they can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life.

· Wear a life jacket whether you know how to swim or not and dress appropriately for the weather. Most people who drown never intended to be in the water in the first place.

Be aware of and enjoy your surroundings, bring binoculars and camera to enjoy the beautiful landscape, and keep an eye out for un-safe conditions.

Don’t forget that the lake is for everyone’s enjoyment and a reckless or rude boater can turn a nice day at the lake into a disaster!

Enjoy the Lake and have a safe summer!


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