ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Fourth of July weekend is coming up and for a lot of us that means getting out on the water and going boating.
A day on the water can be a lot of fun, but it could also be very dangerous.
Equipment failures, weather and not paying attention are problems the Natural Resources Police see every day on Maryland Waters.
With all the advanced technology that has been introduced, there is still nothing better than the old standard.
"There is no substitute for wearing a life jacket in almost every case. If a person would wear a life jacket they could've been saved," said Col. Adrian Baker, Maryland Natural Resources Police.
In almost 90% of drownings on the water, the person was not wearing a life jacket. During an emergency, you do not have time to find your jacket and put it on.
Being prepared in every way is the key.
"An accident is an accident for a reason. You don't expect to go out there and be in a fatal collision and do anything you're not supposed to do," said Srg. Stephen Burton, Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Many of us have had the boat in storage over the winter and even though you've only used it a couple of times it's not too late to do a safety check on equipment, because when the equipment goes bad, that's when the trouble kicks in.
"You need to have a working fire extinguisher, a first aid kit. We need you to check your fuel level, all your equipment your oils, anything that helps your boat perform at top-notch performance performance," said Chief Trisha Wolford.
There have been four deaths in Maryland waters so far this year.
Two of them were people swimming when they jumped off a boat.
"Wear a life jacket if you're gonna jump in and go swimming, it's that easy," said Baker.
Natural Resources Police says the most common denominator in accidents are alcohol and not wearing a life jacket. They want you to enjoy yourself in the water but, they want you to be able to come back for another trip on another day.