Safety classes important for boaters

For Upper Michigan rescue personnel, water safety is a year-round concern.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Delta County Sheriff’s Department is hosting a boater’s safety course this week.

The course is geared toward young or new operators, but has information every boater can use.

“I cover everything from the law to water related emergencies, weather related things…things that you may encounter out on the water, how to share the waterway with other boats that are out there,” Deputy Jon Smith of the Delta County Sheriff’s Department said.

For beginning, or even experience boaters, safety is important.  Safety begins before the boat sets out, and that means outfitting the boat with a few vital items.

“Some of the basic safety equipment people should have on board are life jackets for every person on board, and they should be wearable, ” Smith said.  “A fire extinguisher is a good idea to have, and in some cases it’s required to have on the boat.”

“(It’s also important to have) Valid registration and their boater safety if they need to provide proof of their age and eligibility to operate.”

Two no-cost safety precautions are easy to remember: always check the weather before you head out onto the water, and make sure someone on shore knows the general vicinity where the boat is headed and what time you are planning to get off the water.