Staying safe on the water during boating season


WHITE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – Sunshine and warm weather made perfect conditions for some time on the water Sunday. But as boating season gets underway, operators have a few safety rules to follow.

“Our biggest main concern is to have safety out there on the water,” said DNR Conservation Officer Matt Tholen.

Tholen spent his Memorial Day weekend patrolling on the water.

“The last couple of days and then day we’ve had more boat traffic than we’ve had in the last couple of years on a memorial weekend,” said Tholen.

As the summer boating season kicks off, Tholen said a proper life jacket is crucial for everyone who heads out on the water. However, being aware of your surroundings is also an important part of staying safe.

“It is a big body of water, but the other operator may not have the experience that you may have. So, you’ve always got to watch out for the other operator,” said Tholen.

Floating debris like tree limbs can also be a danger, but those aren’t the only thing boaters need to be on the look out for. Lake Shafer Boat Rentals owner and operator Larry Blaser said operators need to be mindful of people in the water. However, people who fall in the water after tubing or water skiing have rules to follow too.

“When they pop back up out of the water they need to make sure they’re waving their arms as high up as possible. Not only does that tell the driver that they’re okay, it becomes something that other boaters see in the water also,” said Blaser.

For more on boating laws and responsibilities, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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