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Making Waves

There’s nothing like being on the water. With the sun shining down on us and the wind in our hair, cruising on the area’s waterways is al…

Safe Boating for the Family

There’s nothing like being on the water. With the sun shining down on us and the wind in our hair, cruising on the area’s waterways is always invigorating. It can also be a little dangerous.

As you traverse the waterways this summer, take precautions. You probably know that Michigan boaters born after June 30, 1996 (and most personal watercraft operators who operate a vessel) are required to have a boater education card, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. But do you keep a safety check list? That should include extra flotation devices, signaling devices like flares, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher just to name a few.

More importantly, does everyone on the boat know where those items are stowed in case of emergency? Do you ask those you invite aboard if they can swim?

One of the biggest causes of boating-related injuries and fatalities is not wearing a lifejacket.  Another is drinking. Distract your captain for just one second, and your world could change forever.

Follow the rules. For example, according to

  • Persons younger than 12 years of age may not operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 35 hp legally under any conditions.
  • Those younger than 14 years of age may not legally operate a personal watercraft.
  • Not carrying your boater education card when one is required can result in a fine.


You may be tempted to ignore the rules for the sake of comfort or fun. But as watercraft operator, you are responsible for the fate of your passengers. Do the right thing and be safe by sharing your rules with all who step aboard.

Those who can’t follow your rules are simply rocking the boat.



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