Boat group offers spring tips

As anglers and boaters head out, some may be forgetting that cold waters still lurk beneath the keel.

Here are three safety tips from www.BoatUS.com/foundation to help you get safely through spring fishing and boating.

1. Don’t allow the warm weather to let your guard down: The air temperatures may be downright balmy, but deceptively cold waters increase the risk of hypothermia even on a "T-shirt" day. Remember there are fewer boats out on the water that could come to your aid. Bring extra layers or change of clothes and rain gear this time of year.

2. Plan on how to get back in the boat: If you accidentally went overboard, do you have a way to get back aboard? You may be surprised how hard this can be — especially if you are alone or haven’t prepared for it. It could be as simple as having a rope with looped foot holds affixed to a cleat that can easily be grabbed from the water or a ladder.

3. Refresh your memory: Take a boating safety course now from the comfort of your own home. The free BoatUS Foundation course at www.BoatUS.org/onlinecourse, is designed so that you can stop and then continue at any time, includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as flares, shows the rules of the road, how to get help in an emergency, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.