Reporting Steve Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Kim Elverum has been warning Minnesotans about water safety issues for more than four decades, and he’s retiring on Friday.
Elverum can probably recite the big 3 in his sleep: “Number 1, wear your life jacket. Number 2, remember that cold water can kill. And the third one is, of course, don’t drink and boat,” Elverum said.
As water safety specialist for the DNR, Elverum has noted that most fatal accidents involve capsizing or falling overboard without a life jacket, sometimes in dangerously cold water and sometimes after drinking.
Yet another one of Elverum’s often-repeated warnings reflects last week’s tragic death of a 2-year-old girl at a campground in Elk River.
“Anytime that your child is near the water you should be near your child,” he said.
Under Elverum’s watch, boating fatalities have fallen from 56 in 1975 to 15 last year. The 65-year-old Elverum is the longest-serving state boating administrator in the nation.