MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Now that the 2020 boating season has begun, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is offering tips on how boaters can get out on the water while complying with Gov. Walz’s calls for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the weather warms up, there’s a natural drive for Minnesotans to get outdoors,” Hennepin County Sheriff David P. Hutchinson says. “We certainly understand and encourage that. However, we are asking everyone to follow a few additional safety guidelines so that everyone heading out onto the water can do so safely. Now more than ever, we need to make sure we’re considering how our actions affect those around us.”

The Sheriff is telling Minnesotans to:

  • Only boat with those in their immediate household.
  • Go directly from your home to the boat and back, avoiding all unnecessary contact with anyone during your trip.
  • Beaching or tying up to other boats is not allowed.Stay at least 6 feet away from other boats and people.

As always, the same general guidelines still apply to your time on the lake:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
  • Carry all required boating safety equipment on your safety checklist.
  • Clean your boat after going out.
  • Supervise young ones.
  • Equip your boat with a watercraft carbon monoxide detector.
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