Boating deaths are on the rise, Tips from the experts on water safety

When you think summer—hot weather, swimming and boating may come to mind.

Kayaking is a big outdoor activity in South Central Kentucky, especially this time of the year.

We have tips for you, from the experts, on how to stay safe out on the water.

According to a study by the U.S. Coast Guard, from 2015 to 2016, recreational boating deaths increased 12 percent across the U.S. from 626 to 701, injuries increased over 11 percent and the total number of accidents increased over 7 percent.

“Drakes Creek is one of the bigger concerns,” Brian Geringswald, Deputy Director of Warren County Emergency Management explains, “it’s a highly sought-after body of water for kayakers and canoers. Water levels have a tendency rise pretty quickly around here and pose more dangers, more things floating in the water like tree limbs, logs, that type of stuff.”

He reasons that accidents do happen but knowing some quick tips can help you prevent a tragedy.

“Know what the weather is going to do, take the proper equipment with you—a Personal Floatation Device, a tag line to throw to somebody if they need help or can’t swim,” Geringswald says, “be a good swimmer, bring a whistle in case you do cap-size your boat and first responders can find you.”

The water may look calm at some points, but that may change later on in your travels—getting you into some hot water.

Leah Spurlin, Special Projects Manager for Warren County Parks & Recreation explains, “you always have to be aware that even though it may not be raining in Bowling Green, the water can rise, and it can move pretty quickly.”

Geringswald stresses the importance of being smart before getting in and knowing what water you’re getting into, knowing how quick it can change, and having a plan of action if the waters become to aggressive or you’re uncomfortable.