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Open Water Safety

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe for the rest of the water sports season.
Officials say a boat exploded in Cheat Lake Sunday.
Officials say a boat exploded in Cheat Lake Sunday.(WDTV)
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 6:37 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - We are about the halfway through the boating and water activity season. With some recent accidents occurring throughout South Dakota, There are hazards people need to be mindful of, and some basic rules to keep in mind.

South Dakota has more shore lines than the entire state of Florida, and fishing and boating are a part of our culture.

As Summer continues multiple agencies are urging safety.

Pierre Fire Chief Ian Paul urges South Dakotans to keep an eye on each other.

“Kind of let somebody know where you’re at a navigation plan, if you’re going to be fishing up on the lake or down on the river so someone has a general idea where you may be located in case you don’t check in when you’re supposed to.” Paul said.

When driving a boat, its important to keep tabs on everything around you.

“One of the things i tell my customers is be alert to whats around you and other boats, and keep an eye on who is on board- make sure you don’t have kids sitting over the front of the boat or playing areas they shouldn’t be playing.” said Derek Diedrich, Manager of Fun Time Rentals.

Just like with a car, drinking and driving while operating a boat is illegal. Boaters should also remember it is common for certain areas of water to have speed limits, or no wake zones. Children under thirteen must wear life jackets, and it is recommended for adults as well.

“There is a lot of current or if the wind is pushing your boat around not always chasing after that boat is a good idea or even if its just a floaty tube we’ve seen that as well where the wind gets ahold of that and they are chasing after that.” Paul said.

If you run into a situation where you have an emergency on the water, or lose your watercraft, call 911.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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