Iowa DNR Shares Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tips
Cabin fever can finally (somewhat) be cured as the "unofficial first weekend of summer" is here with Memorial Day Weekend upon us. Don't forget what it's really about, to honor the sacrifice of the men and women of the military and veterans who gave their lives in service to us.
Have fun, but be safe too. State parks are able to reopen in Iowa, and as you might expect, things are a lot different this year, with all the social distancing going on.
KCRG shares, from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the checklist of things to be aware of out on the water this weekend.
- Wear a life jacket (anyone 12 and under is REQUIRED to wear one)
- "Don't drink and boat". There is such a thing as a designated driver on a boat, too, so have one chosen before you set out.
- Check for open ramps or water hazards before setting out
- Be patient, slow down and watch for other boaters
- Make sure your trailer lights, wheel bearings, and boat hitches are in working order
- Make sure there is a current fire extinguisher and horn/whistle, a wearable life jacket for everyone and a USCG approved flotation device onboard.
- Tell your friends your plans, just in case
- Boater education and laws are available here.
- Place those big catches you plan to leave with in a cooler or on ice
Of course, some new "social distancing" guidelines are in place now, too. Try to only have people from your immediate household on your boat with you. Keep it to a group of 10 or fewer either way. Stay six feet apart from other boaters/groups--that includes in the water, at the docks, boat ramps, and marinas.
I feel stupid for telling you this, but wash your hands and sanitize frequently. Pack all the food and "refreshments" you think you'll need because restaurants and marina shops may NOT be available.
Stay home if you or anyone you plan to go with is sick.
It all sounds like common sense and I don't mean to preach. Having fun but easing into it is best for everyone.