Boating: Staying Safe On The Water

Area lakes and reservoirs see an increase in recreational boating during the summer, especially on weekends and holidays.

According to the United States Coast Guard, there were over 4,000 boating accidents last year, resulting in 49 million dollars damage and 701 fatalities.

Kansas State University associate professor of recreational resources, Sid Stevenson, says one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they can drink alcohol and still drive a boat.

In addition, Stevenson says driving on water isn’t like driving on the highway.

Boaters are encouraged to wear a personal flotation device, and most states require children 12 and under to wear a life vest. In addition, boats should be examined to make sure they’re in good condition before heading out. Stevenson says boaters also need to follow all rules regarding “no wake” areas and reduced speeds around docks.

Stevenson says a good rule-of-thumb is to never travel at a speed near a dock that you wouldn’t be comfortable hitting the dock at. More safety tips can be found at: www.uscgboating.org.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 70 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.