Lake, river and stream water levels are high and moving fast.
“People should always wear their lifejackets every time they step on a boat and especially during times of high water,” said Kara Owens, DNR boating safety specialist.
A no-wake zone is currently in effect on the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls to Prescott.
The Minneapolis locks on the Mississippi River are closed to recreational traffic.
High water has been declared on Lake Minnetonka.
“High water levels mean a fast and strong moving current, which many boat operators and swimmers are not used to, and that can create dangerous situations,” Owens said.
The swift current also makes it more difficult for even an experienced swimmer to swim or stay afloat if their boat or canoe capsized.
Boaters should also be aware with high water more debris is in the water.
“Debris will often float just at or below the surface. Hitting a log at high speed could result in anything from a broken propeller to a ruined lower unit — or worse, serious injuries to those who wanted to enjoy a day on the water,” said Owens.
So far this year, one person has died in a boating accident and six people have drowned in Minnesota.
Owens said 10 lives could be saved in Minnesota each year if people just wore their life jackets.
The DNR recommends these safety tips for boaters:
Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
Do not overload the boat.
If boat capsizes, try to reboard or stay with it until rescuers arrive.
Go boating with a friend. Boating safety increases with numbers.
Tell someone the boating destination and planned return time.
For more information, visit DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/index.html