Without precautions, playing in the water can be like playing with fire

Published 9:14 am Friday, April 3, 2015

The cool weather is out and the warm weather is in, which means for many it is time to enjoy the outdoors.

In Southeast Louisiana in particular, that means taking to the water to fish, crab, jetski, waterski, swim or participate in any of the other great activities that are associated with being on the water.

And while water sports can provide an abundance of good times, like many other activities, they can be dangerous, and safety precautions need to be taken.

Over the weekend, at least four people in Louisiana lost their lives in boating accidents.

The unfortunate news was just a sad and a tough reminder of how important it is to be safe on the water.

Although we can’t be sure of what safety precautions were or were not taken by the deceased and also realize that some accidents are unavoidable, we do know that taking the proper precautions before venturing out onto the water is of utmost importance to the safety of those looking for a little fun on the surf.

The first thing boaters should do is buy life jackets. Make sure they fit comfortably and be sure to wear them at all times while you are on the water. That goes for everyone in the boat, not just the youngsters, because should something happen, the little ones will need help from someone who is not using all of his or her energy just trying to keep their own head above water.

Boaters should also carry first-aid kits along with other things like fire extinguishers and flashlights.

Additionally, boaters should familiarize themselves with their surroundings and any obstacles that may be lurking beneath the surface before launching the boat.

Those are just some of the things you can do to help make it a safer day on the water. It’s easy to take the “it won’t happen to me” attitude, but it’s always better to err on the side of being safe and never needing to use the safety equipment than needing it and not having it.

Also, when you’re out on the water, if you are going to be the one driving a water vessel, please don’t drink.

During this spring, and as we move into summer, be safe on the waterways and have a great and safe time out there.