CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Fourth of July weekend is right around the corner and many people choose to spend the holiday out on the water.
If you’ll be floating down the James or maybe taking a boat out on Swift Creek Reservoir there are some important safety tips to remember.
The Chesterfield Fire and EMS dive team wants people to be safe especially because there have already been boating accidents and water rescues in Central Virginia this summer.
July 4th is often one of the busiest days of the year when it comes to boating traffic.
Lt. Justin Bennett with the Chesterfield Scuba Rescue Team, says many incidents can often be prevented.
He says that life jackets are not only required on boats by law but they are also the best way to save your life.
Adults just need a life vest on board for most boats but children are required to wear a life the entire time they’re on board. He also says people should make sure their boat is in proper working order and to keep a radio on board in case of an emergency.
Bennett suggests people heading out on the river fill out a “float plan” and give it to someone they trust. The plan would include important information about your route and when you expect to get to your destination. This ensures that if no one hears from you then they will know to contact first responders.
Another important reminder Bennett says is to not drink and drive.