Hitting the water? We have boating safety tips for you

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 2:48 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - This Memorial Day weekend, lakes like Lake Cumberland will host thousands of boaters.

“There’s a lot of boaters out, a lot of swimmers out, a lot of kids out tubing,” said officer Joseph Braden with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Before you head out to the boat for Memorial Day or even throughout the summer, officials said there are a few boating safety tips to be aware of.

“Just pay attention, wear your life jacket, and the biggest thing is to leave the alcohol at home,” said Braden.

In Knott County, Carr Fork Marina Store Manager Frank Phillips said alcohol is one of the leading causes in boating accidents he has seen.

“Alcohol impairs your judgment,” said Phillips. “Especially in hot heat, alcohol can cause different problems, medical problems and people shouldn’t do it.”

If you have not piloted a boat before, you are encouraged to learn before you hit the water.

“A lot of people’s never drove a boat before,” he said. “[They] don’t really understand what the capabilities of the boat is.”

Officer Braden said wearing a life jacket is crucial.

“You may get tired in the water and cramp up because of the sun dehydrating you,” he added. “Or you just might not be able to swim well, but I would advise to wear it for safety.”

Phillips added that it is also important to dispose of any trash properly when you are out on the water. This can help to keep lakes clean, to keep wildlife safe and to avoid any issues with other boaters.

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