Water Sport Safety - Central County Fire & Rescue

Water Sport Safety


Whether you’re water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, kayaking, or canoeing, it’s important to keep in mind that these activities can be as dangerous as they are fun!

The National Safety Council recommends the following steps when skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding to minimize your risk on the water:

  • Learn how to get up out of the water and how to safely use the tow rope.
  • Always have a spotter in the boat, and go over basic hand signals.
  • Make certain the towline is not caught in the propeller or wrapped around you prior to beginning.
  • Wait for the propeller to stop before getting back on the boat.
  • Enjoy these activities during daylight hours only.
  • When you have skiers or swimmers in the water, display the orange flag so other boaters can clearly see it.
  • Ensure the boat/PW operator has the engine kill switch attached.

When kayaking or canoeing on open waters like ponds, lakes, rivers, or the Dardenne Blueway, we recommend the following to minimize your risk on the water:

  • Know the weather forecast
    • Avoid being on the water in inclement weather.
    • Wear sunscreen and protective headwear.
    • Wear appropriate foot protection.
    • Enjoy these activities during daylight hours only.
  • Don’t consume alcohol while boating
    • Alcohol consumption greatly increases the chances of accidents on the water.
  • Wear an appropriate personal flotation device (PFD) for the activity
  • Stay in your boat
    • Never underestimate the power of moving water.
    • Don’t dive or jump into water – Unseen hazards like trees may be lurking just below the water’s surface.
  • Stay hydrated
    • These activities can be very taxing on the body. Drink plenty of water.
  • Always supervise children
    • Drowning is a SILENT killer, and it only takes a second to lose sight of children.
  • Carry your cell phone with you in a dry bag
    • In case of emergency, dial 911. Dispatchers can use your phone’s GPS to find your location, helping first responders get to you quicker.
  • Never boat alone
    • There is safety in numbers. Boat with a buddy.
  • Have a Float Plan – and share it with someone on shore
    • Who – Names of everyone in your party
    • Where – Your planned put-in and take-out locations
    • When – Your estimated launch and return times and when to notify authorities if you don’t check in

For more information about boating safety, CLICK HERE.

Working Together, Keeping You Safe