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Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve and have served in our Armed Forces.  For most of us, the long holiday weekend offers is a chance to get together with family and friends and celebrate our freedom.  And as the weather finally starts to warm up here in Michigan, lots of people are sure to spend their time near our beautiful inland waterways and Great Lakes.

Water Activities Filled With Fun, Danger

Popular activities like boating, swimming, and fishing are great for enjoying free time this weekend.  Unfortunately, many people underestimate the dangers involved, especially on the powerful (and still very cold) Great Lakes.  At these temperatures, hypothermia can set in extremely fast and incapacitate experienced swimmers and boaters.  Wind and waves can capsize boats or push them away from the safety of shore.  Fellow boaters can also pose a safety risk – drunk boating has become such a problem that authorities will be enforcing tougher laws this summer.

Celebrate Responsibly

Thankfully, following a few common sense tips can keep you and your family safe on the water this weekend and throughout the summer.  Boaters should have floatation devices for everyone on board, avoid using alcohol, and have a float plan that someone on land knows about.  Swimmers should probably avoid the frigid Great Lakes this weekend, but if you find yourself in the water always buddy up and don’t exceed your capabilities, which you should assess candidly.  Never dive into water if you are uncertain of the depth, as this is a common cause of serious and fatal spinal cord injuries.

Following some simple safety guidelines can help make this Memorial Day weekend enjoyable and relaxing.

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