Boating: Staying Safe On The Water

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Area lakes and reservoirs see an increase in recreational boating during the summer, especially on weekends and holidays.

According to the United States Coast Guard, there were over 4,000 boating accidents last year, resulting in 49 million dollars damage and 701 fatalities.

Kansas State University associate professor of recreational resources, Sid Stevenson, says one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they can drink alcohol and still drive a boat.

In addition, Stevenson says driving on water isn’t like driving on the highway.

Boaters are encouraged to wear a personal flotation device, and most states require children 12 and under to wear a life vest. In addition, boats should be examined to make sure they’re in good condition before heading out. Stevenson says boaters also need to follow all rules regarding “no wake” areas and reduced speeds around docks.

Stevenson says a good rule-of-thumb is to never travel at a speed near a dock that you wouldn’t be comfortable hitting the dock at. More safety tips can be found at: www.uscgboating.org.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.