MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is urging boaters to create a safety plan before hitting the waters this Memorial Day weekend.

With a High Water Declaration in effect for Lake Minnetonka, Sheriff Rich Stanek says boaters need to manage their wakes properly, as well as have the necessary safety gear in place.

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“We urge boaters and swimmers to practice safety precautions and keep everyone safe while enjoying water recreation,” Stanek said.

He says boaters need to have life jackets available for all ages, and children under 10 must wear the jackets while the boat is underway.

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A designated sober boat driver should be decided upon before boating, and a fire extinguisher and throwable rescue device should be on every boat.

Parents must also watch their children at all times when they’re in the water. According to Stanek, a parent is nearby in 70 percent of child-drowning cases. Proximity is not enough.

Also, swimmers should be aware of propellers when entering and exiting the water.

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Click here for more information on boat safety.