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Close call reminds Lansing couple of boating safety’s golden rule

Checking safety equipment means it can be relied upon when needed
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 9:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - With Michigan warming up people are getting ready for a float in a boat. However, it’s important for boat operators and passengers to be safe. According to some avid lakers there’s one thing you should never go without: Life jackets.

Specifically, life jackets that have been checked recently.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agrees. In fact, the law states “all vessels must be equipped with a personal flotation device for each person on board.”

Chelsea Petosky has only been on the lake once before, and she’s already familiar with the dangers of not having a properly functioning life jacket.

“A couple of weeks ago I used my old one and I almost drowned,” Petosky said. “I can’t swim and it almost took on water.”

Chelsea’s fiancé, Justin Pullman, says he attributes the faulty jackets to improper storage.

“They were stored in the boat for a while out in the heat and they took on water,” Pullman said. “We were only ten feet away from the jetski but it was really hard to even stay afloat, let alone get to it when we fell off.”

DNR mandates children under six use a type one or two lifejacket. A type one is “best for open, rough or remote water where rescue may be slow in coming.” A type two is good for “calm, inland water or where there is a good chance of fast rescue.”

Whether it’s a personal watercraft, a boat or even a swimmer it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.

“Definitely know the boating laws and how to merge and when to yield and all of that stuff,” Pullman said. “Be respectful to everybody on the water and wear a life vest.”

A list of the DNR’s boating rules and regulation can be found ON THEIR WEBSITE.

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