Category: County Sheriff Press Release
Case Number: 17004455
Date Reported: 04/14/2017
Incident: Water Safety
Location: Douglas County
This year we are starting Spring with our lakes being completely ice free. Many lakeshore residents are getting an early start at putting in their docks and lifts and getting boats prepared for the boating season. There are also fisherman out taking advantage of the early season open water in Douglas County. As we begin to prepare for the variety of activities we enjoy on our lakes and waterways, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be safe while out enjoying these many water activities.
One of the primary ways of being safe while out on the lakes is simply to wear a life jacket. Falls overboard and capsizing are the most common cause of boating fatalities in Minnesota. Over 30 percent of cold water boating fatalities in Minnesota happen with the victim not wearing a life jacket. Wearing your life jacket can be the single most important factor in surviving water immersion. Right now, the water temperature on our lakes is around 50 degrees, and can cause cold water shock and hypothermia within minutes of immersion.
This boating season, the Douglas County Sheriff's Water Patrol will be focused on enforcing the requirements and use of life jackets. For your safety, we strongly recommend everyone on board a boat wear a life jacket at all times.
The following are life jacket requirements in Minnesota:
-State law requires children under 10 years old to wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket while a boat is underway.
-A readily accessible and wearable US Coast Guard approved life jacket is required for each person onboard a boat, this includes canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards.
-One Type IV throwable is required on boats 16 feet or longer (except canoes and kayaks) and must be immediately available.
-Personal watercraft operators and passengers must each wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
The entire staff at the Sheriff's Office hopes everyone has an enjoyable and safe boating season.
Officer: Sheriff Troy Wolbersen