NEAR MILFORD, Iowa (KTIV) -- With a warm Saturday on tap, many are getting ready to hit the water for the first time this year. But before you dust off the boat, you'll want to make sure everything's ready to go.
"A lot of people will take out their personal flotation devices and their fire extinguishers during the winter months, make sure you put those back in," says Richard Jordet of the Iowa DNR.
Jordet keeps an eye on the Iowa Great Lakes. Like any Memorial Day weekend, Jordet's expecting hundreds of boats with thousands of people out on the lakes. That's why he says you'll want to use extra caution when you're out of the boat.
Jordet says, "Go back in, get back in within 300 feet of shore and the boats are going to be going slower. Or get back in a quiet bay within 300 feet of shore."
He says swimmers should know their limits, and to swim with a buddy.
"It's best to be part of a group. Keep an eye on each other, so if somebody ends up missing or is having problems, somebody's there to help them out," he said.
Especially since most lakes are "swim at your own risk." Most importantly, though, Jordet says, water and alcohol do not mix.
"If somebody is really impaired and they go in the water, they won't know which was is up, which way is down. They might swim towards the surface, they might swim towards the bottom," Jordet said.
The DNR also wants to remind boaters to have their blue registration stickers visible.