MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds the public that wearing life jackets can save lives.

16 people have died in boating incidents so far this year in Wisconsin, according to the DNR. In 2020, 22 people died in incidents related to boating, 9 people died in 2019.

“Wearing a life jacket is the easiest thing you can do to make sure your next boat trip is not your last,” said Lieutenant Darren Kuhn, MNR Navigation Law Administrator . “Make sure you and all other passengers are wearing it with the buckles closed before casting off. “

Drowning is the leading cause of death in personal watercraft crashes. The inexperience, inattention, recklessness and speeding of the operator are other main causes.

However, the majority of those who drown in boating accidents can swim; they become incapacitated in the water either because they are injured or unconscious, exhausted or weighed down by clothing, the DNR said.

The DNR offers these water safety tips:

  • Always wear a properly fitted, properly fitted, and fastened life jacket when on or near the water.
  • Enjoy the sober waters and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person’s judgment, reaction time, and abilities.
  • River banks and sandbanks present invisible dangers. Higher, faster waters can test an individual’s boating, canoeing and swimming skills.
  • Register now for an online training course for boaters.

Other boating safety tips are available on the MNR website.

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