MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When temperatures climbed to just below 60 degrees Monday, one might have forgotten it was the middle of November.
But the DNR wants late season boaters and waterfowl hunters to be aware of one thing: The water is cold and can be dangerous, even deadly. Four people have died during the late boating season this year.
“All boaters should remember they must wear a personal floatation device,” said Capt. Greg Salo of the DNR. “Low water levels are exposing several hazards – rocks, low wing dams, stumps, etc. Operators and passengers can be easily thrown overboard after coming into contact with one of these hazards.”
That personal floatation device rule also holds for hunters. For those who find such devices uncomfortable, Salo suggests a camo float coat.
The DNR recommends the following tips for late season boaters:
— Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
— Don’t go boating after drinking.
— Don’t boat alone.
— Don’t overload the boat.
— Watch the weather and turn in if the wind picks up.
— Tell someone where you’re going and when to call 911 if not back at a certain time.
— “If boat becomes swamped or capsizes, stay with it if possible and await rescue, because most boats will continue to float, even after capsizing and filling with water. Drowning often occurs when the victim tries to swim to shore rather than face the embarrassment of being rescued.”