May 24, 2012 10:01 AM by Ian Auzenne
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, and other organizations are reminding boaters to be careful on the water this Memorial Day weekend. Boaters are reminded to "think five and stay alive" while out on the water.
1) Wear a properly-fitted life jacket.
2) Don't drink while on the water. The Army Corps of Engineers says more than half of all drowning deaths are related to alcohol consumption.
3) Watch your children. The Army Corps of Engineers says it only takes a child an average of 20 seconds to drown. Be a water watcher and designate someone always to watch children or any person with special needs while on or around the water.
4) Know your limits. Do not jump off objects or swim farther than you should. Recognize your limitations and stay within them.
5) Practice safe boating.
Sheriff Guidroz also advises boaters to devise a float plan in the event of an emergency. In addition, he encourages boaters to keep a distress signaling device, such as a whistle or air horn, on the boat. Also, boaters should check weather conditions prior to getting in the water and avoid no wake zones.