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Safety tips while you're out on the water this holiday weekend

 People are taking advantage of the weather and are on a boat. (KOTA)
People are taking advantage of the weather and are on a boat. (KOTA) (KOTA)
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 4:26 PM CDT
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As people head to the lake to make a splash this holiday weekend, it's important to remember: safety comes first when you're out on the water.

"Before you even go out, a few things to think about are you need to have a properly fitting life jacket for each person on your boat. You also need to have a throwable device which is usually small; they're usually blue and red cushion with straps on both sides and then a fire extinguisher," says the conservation officer for South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, Tanner Bruns.

But what about when you're out on the lake? Bruns says it's essential to be aware of your surroundings.

Another thing to remember is the consequences you can face if you're operating a boat while drinking.

"Driving a boat and driving a car is very similar when it comes to over the limit, so it's that .08. If you're over the limit, we would do some field sobriety test, and if we determine at that point that you had too much to drink to be driving that boat, it's the same as a DUI you would be taken down to the jail," says Bruns.

Bruns also says to pull your boat plug once you get off the lake and put it back in before hitting the water.

"So if you're found outside of that parking lot area with your boat plug in, you will get a ticket, and the fine amounts are quite high now. Also, make sure that you take it out before you leave the parking lot and then don't put it back again in your boat until you get back to the parking lot on your next trip," says Bruns.

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