As the weather heats up, boating enthusiasts are crowding Nebraska’s rivers and lakes. Susan Stocker, a boating education coordinator, says those waterways could be especially dangerous this spring because of the heavy snowmelt and recent wet weather. “That’s going to move the large trees and all the debris coming down. If you’re not able to see that just below the surface (of the water), it can be a dangerous situation,” Stocker said. Some large limbs or other debris can be big enough to damage a boat or eject passengers.There should also be at least one life jacket on board for every person on board. Stocker say life jackets are called that for a reason. Stocker says that’s why it’s important to wear a life jacket. “No one expects to be thrown into the water, however, it happens…and you won’t have time to put the life jacket on if you are thrown,” Stocker said.
She encourages boaters to leave a “float plan” with family or friends, so they know details of the trip should the boaters not return on time.