It’s hard to believe, but Nebraska has more miles of streams and water bodies than most states. The presence of so much water must be the reason why there are so many Nebraskans who own boats. They come in many forms and with a variety of propulsion devices, from paddles for canoes and kayaks to powerful inboard and outboard motors that can push boats at high speed with many people on board and skiers in tow.
This spring, as Nebraskans are about to kick off the 2021 season, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is urging boaters to make safety the top priority.
The rule that belongs above all others is to always wear a life jacket. Leaving a life jacket hidden under the lazarette won’t do any good in the event of an accident.
Wear your life jacket and make sure it is properly strapped and fastened. Anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket on the water – it’s the law.
Game and Parks suggests that boaters can reduce the risk of incidents and help ensure a safe and enjoyable day on the water. Follow these suggestions:
Before launching: make sure your boat is in good working order. Register the boat and, if it is a non-resident, purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species sticker from the Game and Parks website. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Paddlers of kayaks or canoes should physically inspect their intended exit point to ensure it is accessible.