I’m on a Boat!
Minnesota is a boating state. In fact, it is perhaps the boating state. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports that Minnesota has the highest per-capital boat registration in the nation.
With all those people out on Minnesota’s lakes, accidents happen. But, overall, the number of fatalities and injuries are declining.
Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
With Fourth of July only a day away, families all over Minnesota are heading to the lake for a bit of boating. In anticipation, the DNR is urging boaters to “slow down and use caution” this week.
Tim Smalley, DNR boating safety specialist, said, "The waters are higher and moving faster than people are accustomed to, and that can create dangerous situation.” The high water can obscure debris and boats moving too quickly can suffer substantial damages to the boat or its occupants.
The other problem is that the tall wakes produced by boats zipping around at high speeds contributes to bank erosion. A 1992 study found that a 25-inch wake is 30 times more destructive than a 5-inch wake. This week, the problem is compounded by the sheer number of people as well as the high waters which means that the wakes will not be broken by the beaches.
The DNR recommends:
- “Limiting boating activity on rivers until water levels return to normal summer conditions.
- Maintaining slow no-wake speeds (less than 5 mph) during high water.
- Staying close to the center line of the river. This will allow some wave energy to be dissipated as it travels through the water.
- If speeds greater than 5 mph are absolutely necessary, accelerate to planing speed as quickly as possible and stay on plane until reaching destination.
- If houseboat or cabin cruiser does not have a planing hull design or adequate horsepower, maintain slow no-wake speeds until water levels return to normal summer conditions.”