(WFRV) – During the Wisconsin summer, boating is a big part of the state’s culture and fun. Which also makes it important to remember what can keep you and your family safe.

National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27 and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds boaters that it is usually the simple things that can help save lives.

“Safety is an important part of water fun,” said Lt. Darren Kuhn, DNR Boating Law Administrator. “Wisconsin rivers and lakes can be relaxing, family-friendly places to spend a summer day when you put safety first and respect the water.”

Nationally, 80% of all boating-related fatalities are the result of drowning. Something as easy as wearing your life jacket can significantly reduce that likelihood.

Operator inexperience, inattention, recklessness, and speeding are the four leading causes of tragic watercraft crashes, and the leading cause of death is drowning.

Water safety tips, provided by the Wisconsin DNR:

  • Sign up for an online boater education course.
  • Always wear a properly fitted life jacket that has a snug fit and is fastened when you’re on or near the water.
  • Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person’s judgement, reaction time, and abilities.
  • River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can tax an individual’s boating, paddling, and swimming skills.
  • Keep an eye on the weather.
  • Always let someone know where you are going.
  • More safety tips can be found here.