GRAND LAKE – Memorial Day Weekend is expected to be one of the busiest weekends for boat traffic.

“The long holiday weekend is always a great time to visit Grand or Hudson lakes., But as everyone prepares for that time on the water, we want to remind them to boat safe, smart and sober, and keep a lookout for other boaters, as we do expect large crowds.”

Justin Alberty, GRDA spokesman

As thousands of lake enthusiasts soon return to the waters, the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department is taking the opportunity to remind them to “Boat Safe, Boat Smart and Boat Sober” all summer long.

According to statistics from the United States Coast Guard alcohol use is a contributing factor in a third of all recreational boating fatalities. Alcohol use can affect a boat operator’s judgment, vision, balance, and coordination. These impairments then increase the likelihood of accidents for both passengers and operators. USCG data shows that in boating deaths involving alcohol use, over half the victims capsized their boats and/or fell overboard.

Safe and responsible boating always begins with proper life jacket use. According to statistics from the United States Coast Guard, drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2021 and 83% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. That is why the GRDA Police continue to stress the importance of life jackets all year-round.

Memorial Day Boating Tips:

  • DO know the water and environment you will be boating on.
  • DO keep a good lookout while underway.
  • DO shut your engines off when people are in the water near your boat.
  • DO observe the nautical “rules of the road.”
  • DO check the weather forecast before getting underway.
  • DO keep a balanced load and a trim boat.
  • DON’T overload your boat.
  • DON’T ride on the gunwale, bow, seat backs, or any other place that is not designed for sitting.
  • DO have a float plan. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

If you have an emergency and need immediate assistance while on the water, the GRDA Police encourages you to dial 911.