Water, boat safety tips ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

It is going to be hot out here for memorial day weekend, but before you head out on the water Fox 46 is Getting Results to make sure you’re safe.

“We’ll stop boats to do a safety check to make sure they have safety equipment,” said Office Rodney Hamrick with Gaston County Police.

Mecklenburg, Gaston and York County deputies patrol Lake Wylie. All of them making sure if you're on the water, you return back safely.

The number one safety requirement is flotation vests. One vest per person on board.

They also need to make sure the life saving device fits properly and boat operators must make sure it fits the type of person, whether a toddler, pre-teen, teenager or an adult.

Data from the U.S. Coast Guard shows 76 percent of boating deaths are due to drowning and 85 percent of them weren’t wearing a life vest.

“If it doesn’t fit properly you’ll slide right out and the device is floating and the person is not,” said CMPD Officer Stanley Joye.

The Carolinas allow beer on boats.

For skippers the legal blood alcohol content limit is .08% or less, the same as for driving a car.

Boat operators should be watching out for kayakers and people on paddle boards and avoid speeding.

"A boat isn’t like a car when you hit the brakes and it stops. You need a little bit of time,” said Hamrick.

And if boating at night, make sure your boat’s lights are functioning properly.

"Port running light red one, starboard running light green one. And they have an arc so if you’re coming up behind the boat at night you get a feel for the perspective of the boat. Similarly if you’re coming bow on, you see both lights so you say, ‘I’m going right at this guy,” said Neil Brennan of the Lake Wylie Marine Commission.