Everyone loves to enjoy a relaxing day on the water, especially on Lake Skiatook. Drink in hand, sunscreen on and music playing gently in the background as you soak in the summer sun. You may even choose to take a dip in the water. Although this pastime has the family friendly reputation, water and boat safety is not something to be taken lightly. Before you go out on the water, make sure you keep these 10 things in mind.
10. You should always wear a coast guard approved flotation device– even the best swimmers can encounter dangerous situations and it is always better to be prepared. Even though the only ones required to wear a life jacket are children under 12, set a good example for your family and always wear a life jacket, it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
9. Do not water ski or jet ski in a carefree manner– Not only can you endanger yourself, but you could potentially harm others. These watercraft can become uncontrollable in high speeds, especially mixed with rough waters. Always be aware of your surroundings on water crafts, and watch for swimmers.
8. Do ride on boat decks or gunwales– if you are to fall you are dangerously close to the motor of the boat. Even if you do not hit the boat, water at high speeds can do a lot of damage.
7. Always keep your children in your line of sight– there may be sharp drop-offs around beaches that even teenage children can fall prey too. Make sure your children do not get too far away as well, careless drivers may miss swimmers in deeper waters.
6. Do not allow children to drive watercraft- Children’s minds are not fully developed until age 25 and even the most mature children can make life threatening mistakes.
5. Watch for underwater hazards such as large branches- these can be sucked into your boats motor and hurt the boat or yourself. At high speeds these can be thrown into the air by a boat, or stop your boat completely, and at high speeds this is not an ideal situation.
4. Wear Sun Screen– this may sound too simple but with the harmful effects of the sun being harsher on water surfaces, the last way you want to end the day is with a sunburn. Not to mention, you can get skin cancer from certain sun rays.
3. Only dive in familiar areas– although some areas can look deep enough for a plunge, always make sure before you dive. Diving in too shallow of water can cause neck and head injuries which are especially dangerous in water.
2. Avoid getting too close to Dams– The water flow near dams can create currents which can pull boats or swimmers to the dam walls. Especially avoid dams during high water.
And the number one rule for water safety is…
1. Never drink and drive– never mix alcohol or drugs while driving a watercraft, when this happens you put yourself and everyone else around you in danger. Alcohol on the lake in any form is dangerous because high temperatures can lead to extreme dehydration.
So next time your on the water, make sure to observe these easy to follow rules so you can ensure your visit is the trip you’d always dream it would be.
Questions? Commnets? Screams of Outrage? Don’t be a stranger, let us know what you think.
Or…Want to know what activities are available on the lake? To see To-Do lists sit here.