As more and more people head out onto the water for boating season, it's the perfect time to brush up on boating safety and life jacket laws.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the key 5 things to remember are:

  • Wear your life jacket – And make sure children wear theirs.   A life jacket is a requirement for all children under 10 years of age, but it's always best for everyone in a boat to wear one regardless of age.  This is especially true in cold water where even the strongest swimmers are vulnerable.
  • Stay sober – Booze and boating don’t mix. Alcohol is the #1 factor in boating fatalities.
  • Tell a friend – Tell someone where you’re going and when you will be back. If you’re not back, they should call 911. Bring a phone or VHF radio.
  • Be weather aware – Don’t let a storm sneak up on you – delay your trip or head to shore. Go slow in rough water to avoid capsizing.
  • Boat smart – Take a boating safety course. Know your boat; stay alert while scanning for dangers; stay seated and low in the boat.

There are also new and important things to keep in mind:

  • New carbon monoxide law requires certain motorboats to install carbon monoxide detectors and warning stickers by May 1, 2018.
  • Watercraft are now prohibited from towing passengers from one-half hour after sunset to sunrise of the following day.
  • CAUTION: Check with your engine manufacturer before using fuel with 15 percent or greater ethanol.

Follow the link below to access the complete, detailed Minnesota boating guide.

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