Here are some boating tips from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to help you stay safe on the water during the 4th of July holiday:
• Alcohol and boating don’t mix. Wind, sun, glare and heat can enhance the effects of alcohol hindering the operator’s ability to make decisions.
• High water is impacting certain areas. Check for open ramps or water hazards before heading out.
• Before leaving the house, check the trailer lights, wheel bearings and the hitch.
• Make sure there is a current fire extinguisher and horn/whistle, a wearable life jacket for everyone and a USCG approved throwable device onboard.
• File a float plan with a friend, including your destination, expected time of return and type of boat.
• Wear your lifejacket - it floats, you don’t.
• Inflatable lifejackets are light weight, comfortable and USCG approved. Wear it.
• Take a boater education course. It has valuable information and many insurance companies will offer a discount on boat insurance.
• Top two safety violations in Iowa are having inadequate life jackets and operating too fast and too close to other vessels.