Now that Memorial Day is here, most people in the Northland start to get into a summer state of mind.  However, many area lakes are still very cold and that can pose a risk to boaters who are not wearing life jackets.

The Minnesota DNR reminds boaters that they should always wear a life jacket, not just have one in the boat, no matter the time of year.  However, this becomes even more crucial if someone falls into cold water.

Despite recent warmer weather, water temperatures statewide are still below 70 degrees – cold enough to cause the gasp reflex and incapacitate even strong swimmers in less than one minute.

Wearing a life jacket improves your chances of keeping your head above water, staying calm, and getting help before hypothermia sets in.

The DNR reports that, in Minnesota, more than 30 percent of boating fatalities occur on cold water, and accident records show the victims are disproportionately male.

Before heading out, follow the link below review boating regulations.