Rangers on Navajo Lake perform safety inspections

Posted at: 05/06/2013 5:33 PM
Updated at: 05/06/2013 5:39 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's almost Summer, and people are already spending time in the sun on New Mexico lakes.

Rangers at Navajo Lake State Park want to make sure people on the water are staying safe by doing boat inspection and routine patrols.

They're looking for safety equipment like paddles, fire extinguishers and life jackets.

The biggest precaution you can take while spending time on the water is wearing a life jacket. Children 12 and under are required to wear one, and always make sure it's buckled and tightened properly, that way, in case you fall in the water, it'll stay on.

And even if you aren't in the water, you should still put lifejackets on your kids, because you never know what can happen.

"It takes a split second of a parent turning away that they could slip and fall into the water without even knowing it," said Marine enforcement officer, Shanna Reed.

Adults also need to be careful. If you're not in a motor boat, you should always wear a life jacket.

And, if you are behind the wheel of a boat, you need a license.

"On the water you don't have traffic lanes, you don't have stop lights you don't have stop signs, you're responsible for everyone's safety as an operator of a vessel," said Reed.

The Coast Guard says there were 18 accidents on New Mexico lakes last year. That was the lowest number since 2003