ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Safety officials are suggesting a Mother’s Day gift for anglers — wear a life jacket when heading onto Minnesota’s icy waters for the fishing opener this weekend.
The Department of Natural Resources says the lack of life jacket use is the No. 1 contributing factor to boating deaths in Minnesota. Since 2010, 43 people have died in boating accidents; 35 were not wearing life jackets.
The DNR says modern life jackets come in many styles. They’re comfortable, lightweight and don’t get in the way while an angler casts a line.
DNR safety specialist Kara Owens says water temperatures are dangerously cold. Falling into cold water can cause an immediate involuntary gasp for air. The shock of the icy water can also cause cardiac arrest, even for people in good health.
DNR boating safety information visit: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater