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important boat owner reminder

by Doug Leier

One glance at a lake or river and you already notice several boats on the water. With that mind, boat owners are reminded that properly-fitted life jackets should be worn and not used as a comfortable seat cushion.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said water temperatures in spring are extremely cold, and sudden immersion can cause serious problems.

Spring weather is unpredictable, and a pleasant outing can turn quickly when windy conditions arise, Boldt said. Wearing a life jacket will not only keep the individual afloat, but also insulates the body which in turn slows the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

In addition, Boldt said wearing a life jacket reduces the panic and allows a person time to evaluate the situation. If you go into the water without one, youre struggling to do what a life jacket is designed to do, she said.