BOISE - There are several things you want to do to stay safe while boating while boating this summer, like knowing the rules and regulations before go boating. But another thing you're going to want to keep in mind are all the hazards the harsh winter created for this boating season.
"There's a lot of debris in the reservoir right now,” said Deputy Jacob Breckon from the Ada County Sheriff's Office. “A lot of tree branches ranging from very large to small, so take caution with that."
The sheriff’s office is urging boaters to be cautious of that debris. Breckon said deputies clear it when they come across it, but that doesn’t fix the entire issue because every day the water is going up, so it’s bringing new debris into the reservoir.
“If you have a jet boat you run the risk of sucking up the debris into your prop. If you have a prop boat…there's a chance you might damage your prop with some of the bigger pieces, so keep an eye out," he said.
Another concern is the water temperature. Breckon said the water is extremely cold and can send your body into shock, so it’s important to make sure life jackets are accessible.
"Even if somebody is a capable swimmer, the longer in the water the less chance they're going to have to survive, the cold water is going to affect them and slow their movements,” he said. “Even if they are a great swimmer, the life jacket will prolong their life while in the water so we can get there and rescue them."
In addition to the winter and flooding-related problems, there are other precautions boaters and others on the water should take. Breckon said the most common types of accidents they respond to involve towing people behind boats.
"Whether they're on a tube, skis or a wake board, often times the wave can get choppy so a lot of people will receive injuries from falling off. We've had people hit into objects while being towed on the waterways," he said.
© 2017 KTVB-TV