When making plans to get out on the water, make plans to be a responsible boater.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Be courteous and timely while docking.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Ensure boats have the required number of properly fitted life jackets for each person on board.Â
- Reduce speed while other boaters are near, and take notice of buoys and ‘no wake zones.’
- Watch for swimmers and those participating in water recreation that may be in the open water or being towed behind a boat.
- Never choose to boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always designate a safe and sober operator.
- Complete an approved boating safety course and become a more knowledgeable boat operator.
- Do not overload a boat. Know the capacity of the boat and stay within those limits.
- Boat with a partner and inform family or friends of your boating plans.
- Drain plugs, valves or similar devices must be removed or open before leaving an adjacent fish cleaning station and all plugs must be removed and valves must be open when a boat is in transit or storage.
- Check that navigation lights are in working order and turned on prior to sunset.
- Check safety equipment on board boats 16 feet or longer:
- One U.S. Coast Guard approved and wearable personal flotation device for each person on board the boat.
- One U.S. Coast Guard approved throwable flotation device (seat cushion or ring buoy).
- One U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher of B-1 type or larger.
- One whistle or other sound-producing mechanical device capable of a two-second blast audible for at least one-half mile.
life jacket wear
cold water awareness
low head dams - drowning machines
GFP, Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue and DENR put together this video on the dangers of Low Head dams.