How can I stay safe on the water?

Local News

LAWRENCE COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Now that summer is officially underway, many people will start heading for the waters of lakes and rivers across the tri-state.

And whether you’re on a canoe, kayak, or a paddle board, remembering to stay safe on the water is important.

Julie Mootz – the owner of Kountry Kayaks – says she takes the time to train all inexperienced boaters before they hit the water.

“We tell them left turns you right and right turns you left. We teach them how to hold it, how to paddle right and make sure they don’t do anything too crazy out there to flip themselves over,” says Mootz.

Mootz says, when it comes to being safe on the water, she always encourages wearing a life jacket.

“Before we even get them out to the boats they get their life vests. We make sure that they have the right size and make sure they’re in them,” says Mootz.

At Kountry Kayaks, those 18 and younger are required to wear a life jacket on the water and boaters over the age of 18 are encouraged to wear them and are required to have it on the water with them.

Kountry Kayaks also provides lifejackets but says boaters are also welcome to bring their own, as long as it is Coast Guard approved.

A quick tip Mootz gave when it comes to lifejacket safety is to make sure all buckles are fastened and the lifejacket is tight enough so it doesn’t lift over your head.

One boater, Rick Kennison, says he thinks being safe and aware on the water is very important. He also says if he could tell younger boaters one thing it would be to “just be careful and, if you call in, try not to panic.”

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