Langley – Boat safe, boat smart and boat sober…
The countdown to Memorial Day Weekend 2012 is underway. Not only does the upcoming holiday weekend mark the traditional beginning of the summer boating season on Grand and Hudson, but it will also be one of the busiest weekends on the lakes.
As thousands of boaters and lake enthusiasts return to the waters, the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department is taking the opportunity to remind them to “Boat Safe, Boat Smart and Boat Sober” all summer long.
Of course safe boating begins with proper life jacket usage, and that is a message GRDA promotes year round. Starting Memorial Day weekend, GRDA Officers will renew the annual “I Got Caught” campaign on Grand and Hudson. They will be looking for boaters who are doing the right thing by wearing their life jackets on the water. If those boaters are “caught” the reward will be a t-shirt, courtesy of the GRDA Police Department.
“This is a program we’ve had in place for six years now and while we are pleased that it is popular, we are more pleased with its effectiveness,” said GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty. “It’s been great to see people playing it safe while they enjoy the water and we hope to give out lots of t-shirts this summer.”
Meanwhile, smart boating happens when boaters are acquainted with the vessel they will be operating and the area they will be visiting on the water. With that in mind, GRDA also offers the following smart boating tips:
- DO know the water and environment you will be boating on.
- DO keep a good lookout while underway.
- DO shut your engines off when people are in the water near your boat.
- DO observe the nautical “rules of the road.”
- DO check the weather forecast before getting underway.
- DO keep a balanced load and a trim boat.
- DON’T overload your boat.
- DON’T ride on the gunwale, bow, seat backs or any other place that is not designed for sitting.
- DO have a float plan. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
Finally, GRDA Police continue to stress the importance of boating sober. According to the latest statistics from the United States Coast Guard, alcohol use remains the leading factor in fatal boating accidents, contributing to 19 percent of all 2010 boating fatalities. On a boat, there are many things that can impact an individual – sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion – and when alcohol is added to the mix, balance, vision and coordination can be negatively impacted. In boating situations, alcohol and water simply do not mix.
For more information on boating safety or GRDA lake rules and regulation, visit www.grda.com. Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.
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