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How to be safe on the lakes this holiday

With the 4th of July tomorrow, plenty of people are planning to hit the water to beat the heat. That also means it will be a busy day out on area lakes.

Posted: Jul 3, 2018 8:03 PM
Updated: Jul 4, 2018 2:10 PM

MONGO, Ind.(WFFT)- The Mongo River Run Canoe and Kayak Rentals business sits along the Pigeon River, and the owner says it's 3 feet deep, so it's appealing to most families for the holiday.

"We like to cater to one side of the river. It runs on both sides. When I say that, we have an upper and a lower. We like to cater to the upper because we take you up, and put you in, and then you can float back at your leisure,"co-owner Tammy Scalzo said.

If you chose to do that or get into one of their canoes, they recommend a life jacket because you can never be too careful.

"A child weighs so much less than we do, if your boat does dump, it's just like dropping an egg on a hardwood floor. It scatters. What happens is they float away from you," she added.

Before you get in the boat, you want to make sure your life jacket is secure by connecting the belt making sure you hear a snap, and then adjusting it to make sure there’s just enough room to fit your fingers on the sides of your body.

They say the river conditions anywhere can change from day to day just like the weather, and with the heat, if you can avoid alcohol, do it. If you do decide to drink, do it in moderation.

"When you do get out there, and the river is dangerous enough itself, and then you want to add alcohol, it's going to compound things a little bit," co-owner Don Owsley said.

Owsley and Scalzo say you want to be alert at all times especially if you have another person in the boat with you.

Any delays in action could cost you.

"When you come to a log jam, it's to push off it, not to grab. When you remain stationary with that boat, the water is still moving. You can't stop that. Pretty soon you're going to be capsized and possibly in danger," Owsley added.

The Indiana law states children 12 and under have to wear a life jacket at all times. Even though you have an option at 13 and up, they still recommend you wear one.

If you notice your life jacket is damaged, don’t try to repair it by using tape or glue. They suggest getting another life jacket.

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