The recent bouts of rainy weather mean people can’t travel up and down the Mississippi River as far as they may like to. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed three of the Minneapolis locks to recreational traffic over the weekend. It could be a week before the river is low enough to be safe. Commercial traffic can still get through.
That incoming warmth may be enough to get some of you and your kids into the water this weekend. You may think you know the ABCs of water safety. But with this year’s unusually frigid water temps, the rules are a bit different.
Kim Elverum has been warning Minnesotans about water safety issues for more than four decades. Under Elverum’s watch, boating fatalities have fallen from 56 in 1975 to 15 last year. Elverum is the longest-serving state boating administrator in the nation.
Whether planning a beach vacation this summer or staying closer to home at the neighborhood pool, be mindful of water safety and how to keep the kids safe.
Less than a month into summer and there have been several drownings on Minnesota waterways. The latest numbers from the Department of Natural Resources show 25 drownings since May, six of which happened on boats. In every boating case, the victim wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
Minnesota has had a record number of drownings this year. According to the DNR, 27 people have drowned in incidents not involving a boat. Nine others drowned in incidents involving a boat.
Three locations on Lake Minnetonka will provide free life jackets for the rest of the summer. Boaters can borrow life jackets through the Kid’s Don’t Float Program, courtesy of the Safe Kids Northwest Metro Coalition, North Memorial Medical Center, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
Minnesota’s duck-hunting season opens Saturday and with area rivers swollen from recent rains, officials are stressing water safety.