STEVENS POINT, WI (OnFocus) – Boating is one of the best ways to enjoy Wisconsin summers. Being out on the water can help soothe many ailments. No matter how much experience you have, it’s always good to review all boating safety rules before leaving the dock.
“We dream of summer in Wisconsin, and once it finally arrives, we all head to the nearest lake or river,” said Dr. Scott Ghinazzi with Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic Walk-In. “It’s important to remember that accidents on the water are preventable.”
Before you board, check out these safety tips:
- Be weather-wise. Check your local weather conditions before heading out on the open water. TV and radio forecasts are great sources of information. If you notice darkening clouds, rough winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
- Wear life jackets. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on boats and motorized water vehicles like jet skis, when around open bodies of water, or when participating in water sports like tubing, knee boarding or water skiing.
- Avoid alcohol; don’t drink and boat. Don’t drink alcohol while out enjoying the water. Alcohol can affect your judgement, vision, balance, and coordination.
- Designate an assistant skipper. Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with boating safety and all aspects of your boat’s handling and operations. The more people who are familiar with operations, the more hands on deck if an emergency presents itself.
- Stay hydrated. While out on the water, there is nothing more important than staying hydrated; but avoid caffeinated drinks.
- Be courteous. Be mindful of other boats and swimmers and keep a safe distance. Keeping your wake low when near other boats, swimmers, or the shore is vital.
“Education about water and boating safety is important because it can help reduce personal injury,” Dr. Ghinazzi said. “Keeping up to speed about boat operations, etiquette, and rules of the water are extremely important for everyone.”
Dr. Ghinazzi cares for patients at Aspirus Stevens Point Clinic Walk-In. Located at 5409 Vern Holmes Drive, the walk-in is open from 7 am to 7 pm weekdays, 8 am to 4 pm weekends, and 8 am to 1 pm holidays. For more information about Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital & Clinic, visit aspirus.org/stevenspoint or call 715.344.1600.
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