Safety First - When it Comes to Boating

Don't toy around with boater safety this summer. (U.S. Air National Guard Illustration/Infographic by Master Sgt. Lynette Hoke)

Don't toy around with boater safety this summer. (U.S. Air National Guard Illustration/Infographic by Master Sgt. Lynette Hoke)

DULUTH, Minn. --

Stig Severinsen has a world record for holding his breath under water for a shocking 22 minutes.  Very Impressive, considering an average person can hold their breath for around 30 seconds, for children the length is much shorter.

It usually only takes around 120 seconds (two short minutes) underwater for an adult to lose consciousness, and only between 30 seconds and 2 minutes for a small child to die.  In our great state ‘the land of 10,000 lakes’ – let’s do what it takes to help mitigate that risk this summer. 

Minnesota has more than 800 thousand registered boat owners.  Each year, boating mishaps are responsible for more than 600 deaths nationwide.  The 148th Fighter Wing Safety Office offers tools and resources to help enjoy this pastime, as safe as possible. 

“We have been helping members of the wing with boating safety and with a annual inspection event for nearly 15 years” said Master Sgt. Craig Honkola, Safety Technician at the 148th Fighter Wing.  “As an avid boater myself, and someone who has lost people to preventable water mishaps, I really enjoy and am passionate about helping others with making sure they are safe while enjoying maritime sports.” 

Some great safety tips to remember this summer: ALWAYS wear a life jacket, stay sober on the lake, watch out for other boats, and people, and make sure to check the weather.  Of course, don’t forget – to always check your equipment and your gear. 

“My boat might be viewed as a little flashy, and I might get stopped to see if I have all the gear,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Reed, a member of the 148 FW who got his boat looked at by the team this year.  “This is great - they have everything you need and it’s a great pre-season kick-off to be a part of this.”

The unit had a great turn out with 16 boats signed up for inspection during this year’s boat safety event.  For more information on this year’s 148th Safety Office boat safety programs contact the base safety office at 218-788-7286.

“In partnership with the Duluth Sail and Power Squadron we have done boat inspections for members and retirees of the wing in the past, and we are going to offer them again,” said Master Sgt. Honkola. 

Don’t hold your breath when it comes to boat safety this summer – stay safe when enjoying the fresh air out on the lakes and rivers in our great state.