Boat rental company considering new measures to keep renters safe

Within a week, two drownings were reported on Lake Norman and Lake Monroe.

LAKE NORMAN FROM CATAWBA, NC – Lake season is in full swing, but with more people on the water, safety has become even more of a priority.

Boat rental company black yacht club says that following several tragic drownings on Lake Norman and another drowning on Lake Monroe, all in a single week, they wanted to make changes to safety.

According to them, the highest priority is to emphasize the importance of life jackets.

“Literally the words ‘life jacket’ will save your life,” said Black Boat Club co-owner Corinna Dewitt. “Here you can reach depths of up to 80-90 feet for everyone to swim in, but if a wave hits you, you want to have that buoyancy to bounce back.”

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The Black Boat Club reminds its renters that there are different life jackets for different scenarios while in the water.

“This one we use for water sports, so your tubing, your ski, your wakeboard, you want to use this one with the clips on it,” said Terrance Dent, co-owner of the Black Boat Club.

Plus, we’re told disposable floats are also useful in the event that someone goes overboard unexpectedly. The company says it also encourages all of its boat hirers to have a route plan so someone ashore knows exactly where they are going.

Another safety risk that Black Boat Club wants renters to avoid is overloading the boat with too many people.

“Every boat has a weight capacity,” Dent said. “Do not exceed this weight capacity or the boat may fall.”

And finally, the most recent safety change is that the Black Boat Club now only offers captain-exclusive rentals that include an experienced driver who knows the lake well.

“I think what we’ve found is having that peace of mind, having that driver to drive for you and captaining your boat gives you more safety, more security and allows you to relax and unwind,” Dewitt said.

Marine Commission of Lake Normand also shares helpful safety tips for boaters to keep in mind.

Contact Briana Harper at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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