'Be responsible:' Boater safety message from Macomb County Sheriff's Marine Division

Posted at 5:20 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 17:39:31-04

HARRISON TWP., Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s a great day for boating in Harrison Township. The area is one of the busiest in Michigan and boaters are being reminded not only to carry proper equipment, but also to use good judgment for safety.

“It’s like a mini-weekend vacation,” Kathy Chester said.

She’s launching a boat and reviewing all her safety protocols while looking forward to some enjoyment. “Before you get on, making sure the lights work and everything is safe. You’ve got ropes, bumpers, all that like of stuff,” said Chester.

Each summer, deputies from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine Division are also checking for the proper number of life vests and making sure drivers aren’t impaired. “If you have type 1, 2 or 3 (life vest) on the boat you are covered,” said deputies.

Michigan law requires each boat to have one lifejacket for each passenger, but not all are created equally. The best options are U.S. Coast Guard-approved type-two and type-three personal flotation devices because they are guaranteed to keep your head out of the water, even if you lose consciousness.

Boaters should also carry a fire extinguisher, first aid kit and cell phone.

“As far as when you call, your GPS shows up, and that’s very important,” says another deputy.

Also remember, causing a wave that causes damage makes the person responsible liable. The sheriff says don’t forget, just like driving a car, the legal alcohol limit is .08. Avoid trouble by staying responsible.