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Boating safety starts BEFORE you board

Courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc

Summertime is upon us, and as you get ready to celebrate the 4th of July, you may be itching to get the boat out on the water.

Safety is always of the highest importance, but the safety practices should start before the boat pulls away from the dock.

“A lot of people are going out, and this may be the first time you’ve used your boat this season,” said Chris Reid, with Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. “You’ll want to make sure the boat is in working order before you head out.”

This means giving the entire boat a once over, inspecting the engine, looking for leaks, and making sure everything is in place.

“You’ll want to check that on the front end, instead of being stuck out there,” said Reid.

Another tip to keep in mind when you’re on the water: that fallen branch may have more to it than meets the eye.

“We’ve had a lot of high water, a lot of flooding,” said Reid. “It’s possible that the branch or stump you think you can fly around is actually an entire pile or a tree that was carried off the bank when waters receded.”

Reid also added to have life vests for everyone on board, and to use common sense practices on the water.

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