GRDA Police share floating, boating tips ahead of busy July 4 holiday
As water enthusiasts across the region gear up for the July 4 holiday on Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the scenic Illinois River, the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department wants to help them stay safe during their visit.
Of course, boating, and floating, safe, smart, and sober is the best way to promote fun outings on the water. However, there are several other things you can do to make safety a priority while still enjoying your visit.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind anytime you visit the visit the lakes or river:
- ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.
- Before hitting the water, check the weather conditions. Do not get caught on the river or the lake in a storm that could have been avoided.
- Before leaving the dock, know the stability, load capability and handling of the vessel. Remember, every boat is different. Check the water conditions and know where hazards like sandbars and stump beds are located.
- River floaters are reminded to let the commercial float operator know if anyone in the party is a first-time or novice floater(s). They may be able to pair them with an experienced paddler/floater or float the group in a raft where there is a lesser chance for capsizing.
- Airplane pilots file a flight plan; boaters need a float plan. Tell someone responsible where the group is going and when they expect to return.
- Do not drink and boat. Most lake accidents are alcohol related. Do not become a statistic.
- Never dive into the river from bridges, bluffs, stream banks and trees.
- If you get tired while floating, take a break on the bank or on a gravel bar to rest.
- Never swim, boat, or float alone. Stay within sight of companions.
- Do not take anything on a float trip that could be lost in the river. Check car keys and other personal effects with the commercial float operator for safe keeping.
- On Grand Lake, be mindful of the special boating rules in place for July 4 on Duck Creek. More information can be found on grda.com.
- If you need immediate assistance on the water, call 911.
For more information about the GRDA Police Department or how an officer can assist the public, contact the department at 918-256-0911. Additionally, you can reach GRDA Scenic Rivers Operations at 918-456-3251. The office is located at 15971 OK-10, Tahlequah, OK 74464.