Practice Firework and Boater Safety this Memorial Day Weekend

The Huron County Sheriff’s Department is reminding residents to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend safely and responsibly. Sheriff Kelly Hanson say there are typically two issues his department has to deal with: fireworks and boating. Improper use of fireworks has disrupted neighborhoods, caused property damage and serious injuries. Safety and exercising caution when using fireworks is a priority, with being respectful of your neighbors a close second.

For boaters, moderate to strong northerly breezes appear to be on tap through Saturday night. These forecasted winds and cooler air temperatures are likely to create unfavorable boating conditions in the unsheltered and open waters of the county. Please make sure your boat is properly equipped and observe state and federal laws that pertain to safe boating.

For the last several years, Huron County’s north shore has become a very popular kayaking destination. These waters have also been the scene of several emergency situations involving kayaks, which have included kayaker deaths. Even though this time of year is considered to be the unofficial start of summer, water temperatures are only in the near 50 degree range and short term exposure can lead to hypothermia. Kayakers also need to know their physical limits and understand exactly what type of sea conditions their kayak can take. Near shore southerly breezes can also leave a false impression of favorable kayaking but the further you go offshore, the waves and currents increase and it becomes difficult to return. Under no circumstance should anyone venture out without a proper fitting life jacket. The most common causes of death in kayaking accidents are overturning or falling overboard.

If you don’t have a life jacket in the Port Austin area, an assortment will be available at the life jacket station on the Bird Creek Beach. Please also carry a cell phone in some type of water proof container and always let someone know where you’ll be going.