National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24, reminds boaters to WEAR IT! all summer

   Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer and extra traffic is expected on Barren River Lake. It is only fitting that National Safe Boating Week is the week prior to the holiday.
   This year’s theme is WEAR IT! which reminds all boaters to wear personal floatation devices when on the water.
   With Barren River Lake still over 10 ft. above summer pool and debris littering the lake, it is more important than ever to wear your PFD when on the lake. It is not enough to have it in the boat, because accidents happen quicker than you can get to a PFD when needed. 
   Year-round, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, patrols Barren River Lake ensuring boating safety.
   In addition to wearing your PFD, the U.S. Coast Guard offers these tips to make sure that your time on the lake is safe and enjoyable.    
* Make sure a friend or relative knows your float plan. A float plan states where you are going and how many people are aboard your vessel. It also gives a vessel description, details your destination and what time you expect to arrive there. If you are delayed for some reason, make sure you let someone know.
* Inspect your boat to avoid breakdowns that often lead to tragedy in the water.
* Have working communication equipment aboard your vessel. A VHF-FM radio is the best method of communication while on the water. Although cell phones are a good backup, they can be unreliable due to gaps in coverage area and the inevitable dead battery.
* Don’t allow friends and family members to carelessly bow-ride. Bow-riding refers to the unsafe practice of passengers remaining on the bow of a recreational vessel while it is making way.
* Make certain to check the local weather prior to departing the dock. Weather can change rapidly, so mariners planing on making way should keep a watchful eye on the forecast conditions.
* Wear your life jacket! More than 90 percent of boaters who drown were not wearing their life jackets. In an emergency there might not be enough time to put one on, so wearing one at all times may save your life.

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