For most boaters, Memorial Day weekend is the "first boating holiday."

Many are looking forward to relaxing on the water. A reminder: Stay safe out there.

Grand Valley Marine, with locations in Grandville and Grand Haven, says to keep you and those around you safe on the water when boating this spring, summer and fall.

Here are some boating safety tips from Grand Valley Marine and Grand Valley Marina:

Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard
Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard
  • Get a free boat check from the U.S. Coast Guard before heading out on the water.
  • Don't text and boat, especially since your cell phone probably won't work on the water, particularly on Lake Michigan or one of the other Great Lakes. Be sure to have a VHF FM marine radio if you need to call for help.
  • While you might not need a license to drive a boat, you should take boating safety courses conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Drinking and driving are just as dangerous on the water as on the land, and public intoxication leads to many fatal boating accidents.
  • Do preventive maintenance.
  • Make sure everyone has a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Also make sure you have throwing and noise-making devices, a fire extinguisher and a flare kit, for starters.
  • Always check the weather report before going out on the water.
  • Tow your watercraft safely at all times.

For a handout check list of boating safety tips, click here.

Celebrating 50 years this year, Grand Valley Marine's two locations offer services, products and accessories to help you with your maritime needs and desires.

Grand Valley Marine is located at 3711 28th Street SW in Grandville. The Grandville telephone number is (616) 538-2460.

Grand Valley Marina is located at 1211 Jackson St. in Grand Haven, with a full marina. The Grand Haven telephone number is (616) 842-8725.

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