Madison County discusses water and boater safety

As summer approaches the Madison County Emergency Management Office and Madison County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to share some summer safety reminders.

The departments strongly encourage everyone who wants to enjoy their time on the water to take a safety course.  The Madison County Sheriff’s Office offers Boater and Personal Watercraft Safety Classes through their Marine Patrol. To find out when those courses are held please contact Sgt. Matt White at 315-366-2318. 

All children and youths up to 12 years of age need to wear a Coast Guard Type III or better Personal Flotation Device when recreating on the water.  All children should be provided the opportunity to learn to swim and have adult supervision when playing in or near any body of water including backyard swimming pools.

Camp owners should have rescue devices such as throw bags, rescue rings, and Personal Flotation Devices available for family, friends, and guests enjoying their water frontage.

Boaters should have the Coast Guard required safety equipment available and up to date on your boat or water craft including:

  • Personal Flotation Device (One per passenger).
  • Throw able Rescue Device:  Rope Bag or Rescue Ring.
  • Sound Producing Device
  • Anchor
  • Flare or Flag (Visual Device)
  • Fire Extinguisher

For Kayakers, Canoers, and other paddlers:

  • Be familiar with the stream or body of water that you plan to explore.
  • Consider filing a paddling plan with someone on shore with your departure time, location, direction of travel, destination and anticipated arrival time.
  • Be aware and avoid strainers, low head dams, and any dam structures in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds.
  • Avoid fast moving streams, creeks, and rivers unless you are experienced in swift water paddling.

Remember that alcohol, drugs and excessive speed never mix with water recreation or the operation of motorized vehicles of any size or type.

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