By Elspeth Mizner
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – As we make our way through June, Lake Erie becomes filled with boaters, new and old.
Whether you are a long time driver or a first time renter, it’s crucial you take the proper safety precautions.
Kayla Oosterkamp, the Office Manager at Port Erie Boat and Jet Ski Rentals said, “I would say about 80% of our renters don’t have any experience or haven’t driven a boat in a long time”.
Staff at Port Erie Boat and Jet Ski Rentals makes sure every driver is prepared before they head out on the open water.
“We have all of our renters watch a boater safety video that is about 20 minutes long. It will show you some safety about boating, but it’s kind of basic video, so we also then had a run down where the deckhands board the vessel with the customer, show them where all the safety equipment is, if there is an anything they need in case of emergency and then we make sure they’re totally comfortable, before we push them off the dock”, said Oosterkamp.
Even after groups get out on the water, there’s still things they can do to stay safe on the bay. One way to stay safe is by making sure everyone has a life jacket.
Children twelve and under have to wear them at all times on a boat at Port Erie Boat and Jet Ski Rentals, but everyone else has to at least have them on board.
Even after being prepared before people leave the shore, accidents can still happen which is why staff has advice if things go wrong on the water.
“The important thing is to throw in their anchor so they don’t drift towards shore or anything that maybe hazardous, and then they should immediately call someone for help whether be a friend if they’re not renting, or if they are renting they should call us and we will directly come out there and help”, said Oosterkamp.
Staff said no question is dumb or silly when it comes to the safety of people one the water. “We want them to be able to feel confident before they’re leaving our dock in case something were to happen”, said Oosterkamp.