Follow us:

Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 2, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Be safe on the water during the hot summer months

One of the busiest holiday weekends of the summer is upon us, and with plenty of on-water activities kicking into high gear the Washington State Parks and Recreation would like boaters and swimmers to keep safe and follow the rules of the water.

A huge snowpack and the recent hot weather has many rivers running swift, deep and cold, and thus creates some safety hazards.

Those planning a float trip or being near a river or lake should realize that the water is still cold even though the temperatures outside are hot. Some waters are cold enough to cause a loss of motor function quickly, and rapidly lead to hypothermia.

Here are some important tips given by the State Parks and Recreation to remember:

Wear a life jacket when swimming or boating. Washington state law requires children ages 12 years and younger to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket on all vessels less than 19 feet.

Before going out on the water, know the hazards, and always be aware of the temperature of the water. Take extra precautions or avoid swimming in fast-moving rivers. The currents and cold water temperatures can be extremely dangerous.

Develop a float plan. Before you go out on the water, give a responsible person or family member details about where you will be and how long you will be gone.

Avoid alcohol at all times when on the water. Drinking alcohol affects judgment and motor skills in a boat just as it does in a car. It slows reactions, making adults and teens victims of silent drowning. It also can increase the risk of hypothermia or cardiac arrest. When boating, a no-alcohol rule is important for both the boat operator and passengers.

Pay attention to weather conditions and carry flares, a fire extinguisher and a VHF marine radio to contact rescuers in an emergency.

Take a Commission-approved boating safety course and get your boater education card.

For more details, call 360-902-8845 or visit the State Parks and Recreation Web site.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►