With the approach of Memorial Day state conservation officers are warning boaters that 80 percent of drowning accidents in the United States are due to people not wearing their life jackets.
To encourage everyone to practice safety when boating, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering the following tips for residents and visitors to the state:
Wear a life jacket-in most of drowning accidents people have life jackets on board their boats, but they aren't wearing them.
Avoid drinking alcohol- nearly half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. Studies show passengers are 10 times more likely to fall overboard when they have consumed alcohol.
File a float plan, always let someone know the who, what, when and where of your trip. But every time safety experts come back to the fact that life jackets save lives.
Lt. Andrew Turner, boating law administrator for the DNR's Law Enforcement Division says, "life jackets have been redesigned in recent years so that they come in styles that are comfortable and easy to wear. Having a life jacket on prevents the search for one during a boating emergency."
For more information on safe boating visit the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center at: www.uscgboating.org
The Michigan DNR contributed to this report.