Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and many people will be hitching up their boats and heading for the water.
But the Army Corps of Engineers advises boaters to first take precautions.
"Check out and service your trailer, boat, motor and other equipment. After a winter of storage, this is a must," spokeswoman Laurie Driver said.
"Once you're on the water, remember, warm spring days can be misleading. The water is still very cold. If you fall from your boat, or your boat capsizes, you're in for a shock, especially if you're not wearing a life jacket," she said.
"Upon the initial plunge, the cold water takes your breath away. Your muscles tense, and you may get painful cramps. With a life jacket, you can stay afloat and stay alive. Without one, you may not be able to swim at all," Driver said.
"The Corps urges boaters to always wear a life jacket. It is especially important this time of year, when the water is deceptively cold. Remember, life jacket worn, nobody mourns," she said.
For more boating safety tips, visit www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Water-Safety/.