November 6 GRDA Weekly Update
Boating in the Fall
- Make sure your boat is in good operational shape before going out. Always make sure you also have a couple of waterproof flashlights on board, along with extra batteries, to help guide your way if you happen to be docking after dark. With the loss of sunlight coming much quicker these days, you need to ensure you have working navigation lights.
- Wearing a life jacket is more important than ever. We all know if you’re boating you should wear a life jacket, but it’s even more crucial once summer is over and temperatures drop. Should you fall into the water, its coolness increases your chances of hypothermia and the later into the evening you’re out, the colder it will be. A life jacket will help protect you from the initial shock of the cold water if you go in. The fact is, with current water temperatures now in the 60’s, should you end up in the water you can find yourself in serious trouble with hypothermia.
- It’s always a good idea to have life jackets that have lights attached to them (it’s easier to be found if you do fall in) and a proper fit is important.
- Make sure you have a working cell phone and charger. With fewer people on the lakes this time of year, that means you have fewer options available if you need help. You should also consider having a working VHF radio. While being out on the water in the fall likely means you’re going to have more peace and quiet, you might also find yourself having issues with the boat, people on board, etc. and there might not be anyone else around. The radio is important in that it can help get help to you, even when your cell phone has no signal.
- This is no time to skimp on fuel. Fewer boaters mean that many marinas and fuel stops are cutting back their operation hours and may not be open, so always have plenty of fuel before you venture out so you’ll have no problems getting back.
- Take emergency supplies with you, just in case. Pack a small bag with a first aid kit, warm clothes, snacks, water, blanket and a tarp. You can also keep your cell phone and other valuables in the bag for safekeeping.
- Check the weather before you leave. Remember that we are in the second storm season in Oklahoma, and the constant barrage of cold fronts almost daily means the weather can change from good to bad in no time. While the weather might be fine when you head out, an hour or two later it could be completely different. Before getting out on the water, check to see what the latest weather forecast is (there are plenty of great weather apps) so you don’t get caught in bad weather. Take foul weather gear with you for those “just in case” moments.
- Fog, mist and the sun going down can make it harder to see in the fall, so wear bright colors like orange, yellow or lime green. Also helpful would be having a strobe light or bright safety lights on your boat.
- Fall days can bring significant fluctuations in temperature and conditions. Dress appropriately in layers so you can adapt if it gets warmer or cooler. Also bring rain gear and a change of clothes.
- Have a Float Plan. Let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to be back. Make sure they know the description of your boat, phone number, and if you are launching from a ramp, they need to know the description of your vehicle and trailer so they can provide these details to authorities, if needed. At this time of year, if you do get in trouble on the water, time is of the essence. As water temperatures get colder, you should always go out with a friend.
- Use your engine kill switch. The colder water temperatures increase your risk of hypothermia in much less time, and the lack of other boaters will only increase the amount of time for a potential rescue should you be ejected or fall from your boat. The best protection is to use your engine kill switch so your boat does not run away from you (or over you) should you go over the side.
Traffic Delays Possible Across Pensacola Dam
Life Jackets Required
Missing Person Assist
Eco Courtesy Dock Closed
Work continues to progress on the shoreline stabilization project near the Ecosystems and Education Center. The Grand River Dam Authority is working on the shoreline near the courtesy dock located on Grand Lake, just behind the center in Langley, which is closed temporarily. Because of the presence of heavy equipment in the area, it is necessary to close the dock and the access path to allow the work to proceed safely. GRDA anticipates the project will be completed in late November.
9 pm Routine
Do you have a Special Event Planned?
All PFD's must be in good condition, immediately available to all occupants (not stowed away) and must be of the proper size for the intended wearer.
Safety Education Programs
Updates on the Web
Did you not receive our latest GRDA Update? Do you have a friend that wants to see our Updates? You can now go to our website at GRDA.com to view the latest edition of GRDA Police Updates. Go to the Lakes/River tab, open the GRDA Police tab and click on the GRDA Police Update for the latest version of our email release.
Boating Tips From the GLSPS
- Vessels registered in other states using Oklahoma waters for 60 days or less
- Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard (however, documented vessels using Oklahoma waters over 60 days must be registered in Oklahoma and display current Oklahoma validation decals on each side of the bow as high above the water line as practical)
- Vessels used exclusively and solely for racing purposes
- Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to both sides of the bow as high above the water line as possible.
- Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
- Number must be in BLOCK characters that are at least three-inches high and one-half inch in stroke width.
- Number’s color must contrast sharply with its background.
- Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space or hyphen: OK 3717 ZW or OK-3717-ZW.
- No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
- Decals must be affixed on both sides of the bow, behind (towards the stern) and in line with the number.