The lakes are still frozen on the Gunflint Trail but the streams and rivers are starting to flow. South of us other lakes are opening up in Minnesota and many people are anxious to get out onto the water. We’re looking forward to getting out on the water too and the nice weather has us thinking we might be doing it sooner rather than later. As soon as the river opens up we’ll get a boat in and check out the conditions on Saganaga to report to all of you.
Here’s some safe boating tips from the Minnesota DNR.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 17, 2015
Prepare now for a safe boating season
Before launching into open water, boaters are reminded to inspect their boats and boating equipment and review regulations, which can be found in the 2015 Minnesota Boating Guide at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/boatwater.
“With lakes and streams opening up across the state, boaters are anxious to get on the water and start enjoying the boating season. The best time to make sure boats, equipment, and safety items are in legal and proper working order is before your first launch of the season,” said Debbie Munson Badini, boat and water safety education coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “No one wants to break down, get a ticket or have a safety emergency after waiting all winter to get back on the water.”
In addition to making sure boats are equipped with all required safety items, it’s important to take extra precautions during the cold water season when more than 30 percent of Minnesota’s boating fatalities take place.
While children younger than 10 years old must wear life jackets while aboard watercraft when underway (i.e., not tied to a dock or anchored for swimming), boat and water safety officials strongly recommend that all boaters wear life jackets anytime they are on cold water, no matter their age.
“Wearing a life jacket is an imperative part of staying safe on the water during the spring months when the water is extremely cold,” Munson Badini said. “In the event of an unexpected fall or capsizing, having a life jacket on can make all the difference. Adult boaters resistant to wearing a typical life jacket are encouraged to try inflatable styles, designed to make preventive use more convenient and comfortable.”
Before the first launch, boaters should verify their motorboats are equipped with the following:
U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jackets for each person on board.
A Type IV throwable flotation device on boats 16 feet or longer.
A horn or a whistle.
Type B, U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher.
Navigation lights in working order.
Valid boat registration, with numbers visible.
Watercraft can be registered in person at any deputy registrar of motor vehicles or at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Registrations are good for three calendar years. Renewals can be done in person, or online at www.mndnr.gov/licenses.
Further details, including boating safety tips and information on watercraft operator permit requirements, can be found in the boating guide at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/boatwater.