Water Safety Tips
With the weather finally warming up after a long winter, people are flocking to the lakes to boat, fish and swim. Have fun and be safe! Remember, wearing a life jacket is the single best way to stay safe on the lakes.
- Always wear a life jacket. North Carolina law requires children under 13 to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Wearing a life jacket is the most fundamental way to stay safe.
- Watch for severe weather. Never go boating during storms. Do not get in the water if you see lightning.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment and is a contributing factor in about one in five boating fatalities. Do not swim if you have been drinking.
- Review the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s “Boating Checklist” to make sure you have the necessary equipment on board and operating correctly. You can view the checklist online at: www.ncwildlife.org. Get a free safety inspection from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
- Take a free boating educating course from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Courses are required for boat operators under 26 years old.
- Use the Buddy System. Avoid boating alone. If you are alone, make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Have An Emergency Plan. Make sure you have a working marine radio and a charged mobile phone so you can call for help in an emergency.
- Do Not Overload the Boat. Boats that are weighted down are more likely to tip over.
- Be Careful Near Dams. Stay a safe distance from dams. Do not go past the warning signs and buoys located above and below the dams.
- Never swim alone.
- Stay in designated swim areas.
- Always keep a close eye on children and inexperienced swimmers. These swimmers should always wear a life jacket.
For More Information
Visit these links for more information about boating safety: