Corps of Engineers urges vigilance while on the water

Posted on May 23, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, wants to remind everyone to play it safe on the water as we near the start of the boating season.

Recent rain events throughout the region are causing numerous flood concerns within many communities. These flood waters are also causing lakes and rivers to become more dangerous. As we begin National Safe Boating Week May 21 – 27, and start the summer recreation season, we want everyone to remember the importance of water safety in all recreation activities on or near the water.

Corps officials want to remind everyone about the importance of wearing a life jacket while on the water. Given the current high-water conditions, it’s more important than ever to remember that conditions can change quickly and often without notice. If you have a need to be on the water, please wear a life jacket.

Boaters on the Mississippi River should also pay close attention to the restricted areas above and below the locks and dams. These areas, marked by an orange diamond on a white background, are especially dangerous and can often lead to deadly consequences if you ignore the warning signs. Additionally, please use the appropriate anchor for your situation. A river anchor is best for the Mississippi River.

Additional safety tips while on the water include:

  • Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds, so be prepared;
  • Wear your life jacket – By providing time to be rescued, it will help you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves or current;
  • Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition that can lead to disorientation when underwater; and
  • Understand boater’s hypnosis – It is a condition brought on by the effects of sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion experienced during a day of boating. Boater’s hypnosis can slow your reaction time almost as much as if you were intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this condition intensifies the effects.

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