Boating Safety

Boating Safety

Rend Lake is considered to be a “shallow” lake.  While there are places over 30 feet deep there is far more shallow water than deep.  There are places in the very middle of the main lake that are literally only a few feet deep.  Because of it’s shallow nature in combination with it’s size, Rend Lake is subject to very large swells and white caps when the wind blows.   This can present a very dangerous set of conditions for small craft on the water.   It’s a good idea to insure that everybody on your boat always wears their personal flotation device when your boat is under way.  Always keep your eye on the weather at Rend Lake and SLOW DOWN when dangerous swells are present.

An easily forgotten fact: more people die falling off boats 16 feet and smaller than larger boats, and most of these boats are anchored at the time. The following are some tips to keep you safe while boating.

Tips for Safe Boating

  • Be aware of the weather. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing.
  • Tell someone where you’re going, who is with you, and how long you’ll be away. Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.
  • Ventilate after fueling. Open hatches, run blower, and (most important) carefully sniff for gasoline fumes in the fuel and engine areas before starting your engine
  • Keep gear clean, especially if you are carrying hunting or fishing equipment. A loose fish hook can cause a lot of pain and ruin a great outing. Bring an extra length of line to secure boat or equipment.
  • When changing seats in a small boat, stay low and near the center line. This can help prevent capsizing.

For Canoeing and Kayaking

  • Keep your center of gravity low, and move slowly and deliberately.
  • Transfer your weight slowly from shore to the bottom center of the canoe.
  • Board your canoe directly into your paddling position whenever possible.
  • For maximum control and stability always kneel in canoes, even though some canoes have seats.
  • If you have capsized in a canoe, relax and make contact with your hands if you have not already done so. Stay upside-down long enough to extract feet and legs from the canoe. Then surface, maintaining contact with the canoe. Keep your eyes open.

Information on this page may not be current, up to date, or complete and it is recommended that you contact the responsible agency for current information.