By: Cole Miller
It's starting to feel like summer outside which means you may be dusting off the boat. Boating Safety Week runs May 18th through the 24th.
It's a signature sound of summer, a small fishing boat making its way onto the water at Branched Oak Lake. Many of the boaters here, like Richard Schaffer, are no stranger to getting behind the wheel.
"I've been boating mostly my whole life," Schaffer said.
Now retired, Schaffer spends up to 5 days a week on the water and he knows just how busy it gets.
"It gets crowded out here and there's a lot of boats, so you just got to pay attention," Schaffer said.
"Look ahead. See what's what. Not all people pay attention out here."
Boating Safety Week kicks off Saturday. Andy Addison already follows many of the suggestions and rules.
"We have a flag if we have a skier or tuber in the water and life vests for everyone on board, an oar, fire extinguisher and obviously not boating and drinking," Addison said.
Here are some of those recommendations again.
First, wear a life jacket. Nebraska law requires children under age 13 and anybody on a personal watercraft to use one.
Also, bring along safety equipment like throw cushions and bailing devices.
And for new boaters, take a boating safety course. Anyone born after December 31, 1985 is required to do so.
"Just be overly cautious," Addison said.
Lastly, these boaters say it's best to be defensive.
"Give other boaters a big wide berth and don't expect them to see you."
And maybe most importantly, just be smart.
"Don't do nothing stupid," Schaffer said.
For a full list of rules and regulations, visit the following website--http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/Boating/guides/boating/BGeducate.asp