MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many boat owners will dust off their boats and hit the water this holiday weekend, so it’s a good time to brush up on boating safety.

“If you wind up in the water, it’s only going to take a couple of minutes for hypothermia to kick in,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “All the more reason to wear a life jacket and be safe while you’re out there.”

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It’s law in Minnesota for boat owners to have enough life jackets on board for each person riding. Children under 10 have to wear them at all times.

“The vast majority of boating fatalities could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life jackets,” said Leann Mortense, an injury preventiona coordinator at North Memorial Medical Center.

Last year, 13 of the 14 people who died while boating were not wearing life jackets.

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Hennepin County Water Patrol will have all hands on deck over Memorial Day weekend, checking boats for life jackets and making sure people have a sober boat operator.

“If you’re arrested for boating while intoxicated, you don’t just get a ticket and continue the day on the water, you’re going to be taken downtown and you will be prosecuted,” Stanek said.

And you don’t have to be intoxicated to violate the rules of the water.

Driving too fast, too close to others, or not observing shorezones are all violations.

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The Department of Natural Resources has a list of things that are required to be on a boat, such as one’s boating registration, a fire extinguisher and navigation lights. For the full list, click here.

Kate Raddatz