Jet ski safety tips

With more sunny days than rainy ones, there’s more traffic on area lakes lately.

Practicing safety is the first step to getting out on the water.

One of the most exciting ways to enjoy Upper Michigan lakes during the summer is on a personal watercraft.

But there are some serious dos and don’ts that pertain to everyone on the water.

“They’re fast, and people sometimes get into trouble because they’re not used to riding something that’s so maneuverable and quick,” Delta County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jon Smith said.

Seeing, and being seen by, others on the water is an important factor in preventing an accident.

“People tend to forget that they’re not the only one out there on the water,” Deputy Smith said. “They aren’t, maybe, keeping a very good lookout, and if you’re in the water and there’s jet skis around, you want to make sure that they are aware that you’re there.”

Michigan law requires that jet skis, or personal watercraft, be off the water by dark.

The law also says all vessels must have a life jacket onboard for each passenger, but the Coast Guard says to put them on because there’s rarely time to reach stowed life jackets in an emergency.