Staying safe during boating season

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Memorial Day weekend, while a somber holiday, is also often considered the official kickoff for boating season and it’s safe to say a lot of people are looking forward to getting outdoors and soaking up the sun.

This is the first holiday since the mask mandate has been lifted for the vaccinated.

Before you grab your swim suits and head out onto the water for the holiday weekend, there’s a few important things you should keep in mind.

“Everybody has to try to stay safe and you just got to watch the drinking. That’s the main thing on a lake, just don’t drink too much. Enjoy yourself, have a drink or two, leave it at that,” Barnes said.

That and look out for others.

Owner of Chimney Rock Marina Paul Barnes says he expects a lot of people this season.

“It’s great that they come out and it’s great that they got a place to come to on the lake. They’ve been kind of boxed up for awhile and they get out. Makes it nicer and of course it helps me because this restaurant will be full,” Barnes said.

He says his marina has about 200 boats tied up and the rest of the marinas on the lake are also full.

But with more people comes more responsibility to keep everyone safe.

“Everybody’s had their boat in the storage room or garage for the entire winter so they need to really make sure that everything is functioning. Whether it’s your navigation lights because you may go out after dark, your fire extinguisher, you need to make sure it’s still charged,” Bowling said.

Fish and Wildlife Boat Education Coordinator Marcus Bowling says another important reminder, don’t forget about your life jackets.

“Even me with all the extensive training we have with swimming, I don’t ever get in the lake without a life jacket on. I’m just not going to. Too many things can happen and it’s just not worth losing your life over,” Bowling said.

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