DNR: Keep safe near cold water

The weather so far in April has been anything but consistent and the same can be said for the ice-out status of Minnesota’s many lakes and waterways, 

The Minnesota Department of Resources continues to warn boaters and paddlers that cold water is dangerous and unexpected falls can turn tragic quickly

Each year about 30 percent of fatal boating accidents happen during the "cold-water period," according to the DNR. 

"For many of us, our most cherished memories revolve around time spent on the water," Lt. Adam Block, boating law administrator for the DNR Enforcement Division said in a statement. "But the water can be cruel and unforgiving, and failing to take the proper precautions before heading onto it can have disastrous consequences."

As boaters and paddlers take their first trips of the year onto the water, the DNR says enthusiasts should:
• Ensure their boat is registered and equipped with proper safety equipment, and that all pieces are functioning properly.
• Wear a life jacket
• Distribute weight evenly and abide by manufacturer’s weight limits to reduce the likelihood of falling overboard
• Have a means of communication and let other people know where they’re going and when they plan to return
• Watch the weather to avoid shifting winds or storms.

For more information about staying safe on or around cold water, visit the cold water dangers page of the DNR website.