As boaters get ready for the three-day holiday weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding everyone to keep boating and water safety top of mind.
Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist, says safety never takes a vacation, boaters should wear a life jacket every time they step on a boat and stay away from alcohol; booze and boating don't mix.
In Minnesota so far this year, four people have died in boating accidents compared to nine fatalities for the same time period last year. Falls overboard, capsizing and failure to use life jackets are the most common factors in fatal boating accidents around the state.
Parents need to avoid becoming distracted with a book or cell phone and watch children the entire time they are at the beach, pool or near water.
Water levels remain high around many parts of the state, including the Winona area, which means a fast and strong moving current, which many boat operators and swimmers are not used to.