CORNELIUS, NC (FOX 46) - Being on the lakes is a great summer past time but last year for a group of friends, it turned deadly! Their boat exploded due to issues in the engine compartment.
The Cornelius Police Department and The Coast Guard Auxiliary have partnered to prevent this from happening again with proper boating education.
"A good example is before you go drive a car or truck. You go through a lot of training and practice to know that you drive it safely. You know you are not going to hit somebody, boats are no different," Coast Guard Auxiliary Spokesperson Dick Carver said.
Many seasoned boaters know how unpredictable the waters can be with people not following the rules.
"This morning we saw a guy that kind of waked other people, their boats in front of us. It wasn't necessary. He could've idle out maybe 25-40 yards," Boater Mike Watson said.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is also doing boat safety checks to make sure your boat is safe on the water.
"I’m looking for safety items like navigation lights, fire bottle, personal floatation devices. I'm also looking for some things that are required by federal laws"
They'll also check your engine equipment and make recommendations on things that are just good boating practices.
"One of them is, having your battery covered, because your battery leads provide a hazard due to shorting out. In fact it's the primary cause of fire in boats," Carver said.
Flares aren't required but they recommend you have one because your phone won't be able to give Police or Fire Rescue your location on the lake.
Many on the lake are glad to see a more proactive approach to boating.
"It’s great to participate in this, for the state, for your boat, for everyone’s safety," Mike Watson said.
These boat safety checks are completely free and you can call the Coast Guard to do one on your boat. If they do find something wrong, they won't fine you for it. They just ask that you get it fixed before you get back in the water.