SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been just over a week since a 17-year-old boy drowned in Covell Lake after his kayak capsized.
Authorities say he wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
If you’re planning on being out in the water this summer, first responders in KELOLAND want you to be careful.
“Have a life jacket or a PFD. Also, if you can, bring someone that’s familiar with the water,“ Ryan Davis with the Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.
Pete Sanchez of Sioux Falls is a kayaker. He says he always wears his life jacket when he goes out on the water.
“A lot of people will just have the life jacket and use it behind their seat or stick it underneath, and it really doesn’t do you any good unless you’re wearing it,“ Sanchez said.
Sanchez also recommends kayaking in a group.
“Because then if you run into trouble, then you can have somebody there that can help you out,“ Sanchez said.
Training is another way you can be safer on the water.
“If you could have someone who’s familiar with kayaking that can show basic self rescue, so you can at least get yourself flipped over or out of the boat,“ Davis said.
“With some study and some training, people can learn and maybe try to avoid something like this happening in the future,“ Sanchez said.
If you come across someone that’s struggling in the water, first responders say the first thing to do is call 911.
“Just like CPR, the first thing to do is call 911 before doing anything else and give them a good description on where they are so we can get emergency services coming as fast as possible,“ Davis said.
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks also has some kayaking safety tips