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Arkansas Game & Fish discuss boat safety



Little Rock, Arkansas — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wants to stress the importance of boating safety While the search continues for a third body in Lake Ouachita after finding two others Wednesday evening.

Though the weather may be getting warmer, the water is not, according to AGFC’s chief communications director, Keith Stephens. “The lake will stay cold for a long time. It’s a big lake and it takes a while to warm up so, make sure that you’ve got your life jacket on and make sure that you’re prepared. You don’t want to get out in the water for any length of time. You’ve got to get out quickly. Hypothermia is an issue,” Stephens said.

You can put yourself in danger by consuming alcoholic beverages, though many love to be the life of the party on the lake. “Alcohol is always an issue. It’s not a good idea to get out here and drink. You don’t really know how much you’ve drunk when you’ve been out here on the water until it’s way too late,” said Stephens.

Stephens also recommends taking boating classes and getting regular inspections. These resources could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. “You need to make sure you take your boating education class. That’s really important. You learn a lot of things about what to do in the water and how to protect yourself,” Stephens added. “You know everybody loves to boat in Arkansas. It’s a great pastime and a great hobby. It’s a great family affair to get out on the water but you want to make sure you’re safe.”

Make sure to check the weather before heading out to the water. Strong winds and currents can increase your boat’s chances of capsizing. “There can be a lot of things to think about before you come out here,” Stephens said.