The Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Madison County Emergency Management Office have some summer safety reminders for the public.
The departments strongly encourage everyone who wants to enjoy their time on the water to take a safety course. The sheriff’s Marine Patrol offers boater and personal watercraft safety classes. For information on these courses, contact Sgt. Matt White at 315-366-2318.
All children up to age 12 need to wear a Coast Guard Type III or better personal flotation device when playing on the water. The agencies said all children should be provided the opportunity to learn to swim, and should then have adult supervision when playing in or near any body of water, including backyard swimming pools.
Camp owners should have rescue devices, such as throw bags, rescue rings and personal flotation devices available for family, friends and guests enjoying their water frontage, officials said.
Coast Guard-required boating safety equipment: One personal flotation device per passenger; throwable rescue device, either a rope bag or a rescue ring; sound-producing device; anchor; flare or flag, a visual device; and fire extinguishers.
Officials said that kayakers and other paddlers should be familiar with the body of water they plan to explore and inform other people of your location and other pertinent information, such as departure and arrival times.
The Sheriff’s Office also warned against using drugs or alcohol when operating boats or other motorized watercraft.