Stay safe on the water with these tips - WNEM TV 5

Stay safe on the water with these tips

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MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

Despite the warm weather, conditions on local lakes can still be dangerous and the water can be devastatingly cold.

At least five people lost their lives this weekend in Michigan on the water ways. Several more were stranded or capsized in the Saginaw Bay.

On Monday, Randon Lesser and his family fired up their jet skis. All of them wore their life vests, something the Coast Guard said they should not be without.

"It's a simple little thing. Safety first. We preach to the kids safety. Life jackets save your life just like helmets save your life," Lesser said.

He said he is prepared. He has everything on his jet ski his family needs to avoid an emergency.

"Under the hood is a fire extinguisher, tow ropes and a tool set in case we have a break down," Lesser said.

Vanessa Scasny, with the U.S. Coast Guard, said she wishes everyone would be as prepared.

"Bring everything that you think you may need. If going to rain, bring an umbrella. If you think you are going to be hungry, bring snacks. If it's hot out like today, it was 90 degrees, bring water," Scasny said.

When you're out on the water communication is key. It is best to have a handheld or base marine radio on your kayak or boat. That way emergency responders can pinpoint your exact location and get to you immediately in an emergency.

"A marine radio is a little more beneficial than a cell phone. We can pinpoint your exact location. With cell phone GPS it isn't always exact. We have the technology now where we can pinpoint right where you are and you can attach it to your boat or your kayak," Scasny said.

Tom Lewis has been riding jet skis for a few months now and for him the rules of dos and don'ts are simple.

"Don't be an idiot. Follow the rules and be respectful," Lewis said.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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