Boating Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boating Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend

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Boaters are reminded to stay safe for the Labor Day weekend. Boaters are reminded to stay safe for the Labor Day weekend.
RICHLAND, WA- Understanding boat safety can help people avoid accidents and from getting into trouble on Labor Day.

Labor Day weekend brings boaters on the Columbia River which could mean a higher risk for accidents, but Nigel Jourdain, the operator of Columbia River Rentals, said there are ways to avoid that.

“Be aware of your surroundings, wear your boating gear, and if you're not familiar with the area, slow down,” said JoJourdain “Give other boats ample space.  You don't want somebody speeding by you and hitting you or running you and your family over.”

Jourdain said tubing is one of their main concerns this year.

“The only thing we're having problems with is overeager drivers that leave a bunch of slack in the rope before they start tubing,” said Jourdain.

He said taking off slow when tubing is the best option to avoid injuries.  Parents should also not allow their children to drive while someone is tubing.

“Some parents think it makes them cool if they let their kids drive for those activities, and it's actually really dangerous if their kids or and inexperienced driver were to run over one of those riders in the water,” said Jourdain.

Children under 12 are required to wear life jackets, but knowing the size to get is very important.  They should only wear the ones for kids and not adult sizes.

“She can actually fall out of this life jacket if it's not fitting properly,” said Jourdain.

Performance Marine helps customers with boat problems and answers to emergency calls, but owner Triston Hollingsworth said this can be avoided before hitting the water.

“Check you engine regularly before you drop the boat in, verify the blower and lighting switches are working correctly,” said Hollingsworth.

Overall, boaters need to make sure there are enough life jackets on the boat for everyone, turn boat engines off when someone is swimming, know the area and the surroundings, give plenty of space between other boats, and to check the maintenance of your boat before taking it on the water.