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Jackson County Marine Division shares how to stay safe on the water as temperatures rise

Posted at 8:44 PM, Jun 17, 2024
  • Video shows Deputy Nick Warner at Portage Lake in Grass Lake.
  • Deputy Warner says high heat can impact boaters' decision-making and lead to safety mistakes.
  • He says hydration, sunscreen, and being hyper-aware of your surroundings is key.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Summer weather means it's the perfect time of year to spend the day fishing... "It started out beautiful this morning. The storms came last night, so it made fishing good this morning," says Michael Neuland, after fishing with his father.

But, on days like this one... "The clouds moved out, the sun came in. It got kind of brutal out here and really hot, so we decided to pack it in for the day," continues Neuland.

I caught up with Deputy Warner to see how neighbors can brave the heat safely when temperatures skyrocket. He says, "It can be a little more dangerous on the water when it's this hot."

Warner tells me the marine division patrols 20 lakes every week, with 4-5 boats out at a time. When temperatures are this high, a common thing they see is heat exhaustion, leading to more mistakes (by boaters).

"A lot of people get dehydrated. They will consume alcohol, and when you're out on the water and it's this hot, your body is going to be affected more greatly, with heat like this. You see the delay, the reaction time, and poor judgment." To prevent this, Warner says it's important to stay well-hydrated, drink responsibly, wear sunscreen, and be aware of your surroundings while following typical lake rules.

"As it gets hotter and as it gets busier, know people will be out on the water and just pay attention to your surroundings out there. Lakes can get super busy, and the busier they are, the more dangerous they get," says Warner.

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