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      Boost your boat safety IQ before leaving the dock

      Independence day is one of the busiest boating seasons of the year and while being out on the water is meant to be fun, it can sometimes take a turn for the worse.

      Independence day is one of the busiest boating seasons of the year and while being out on the water is meant to be fun, it can sometimes take a turn for the worse.

      In the last week, we have already seen two deaths on northern michigan lakes .

      But what are the best practices to stay safe in the water? The U.S. Coast Guard recommends having a crisis plan ready before you leave the dock.

      " Don't underestimate the power of lake ," USCG Petty Officer Brad Briggs explained. " The water temperature and the current that some of the smaller lakes have and the big lakes like Lake Michigan where the water temperature right now is absolutely cold this time year."

      T he Coast Guard says water temperatures are colder than usual. Today, they were in the mid 60s on Lake Charlevoix.

      I f you end up in the water , it could grow hazardous to your health and may lead to hypothermia.

      " Get them out of the water , get them out of the elements especially with water," Petty Officer Briggs said. "It robs your core body temperature immediately get them to warmer spot and dry them off."

      I n the event that your boat capsizes , the Coast Guard says you should hang on to the vessel until help can arrive.

      T he same goes for anyone in a kayak or canoe . A grim reminder of those dangers came this week, when a 8 - year - old boy died, and his father was hospital i zed after their canoe tipped ove r in Lake Michigan.

      " Definitely stay closer to shore , because that way if you were to capsize you're within swimming distance of the shore," Summertime Rentals Owner Aaron Schwartz.

      Schwartz goes over a laundry list of safety tips with each rental he sends out and the biggest piece of advice he has to offer to individuals is to avoid crossing large bodies of water on busy days.

      " You're a small vessel and it's hard for people to see you out on the lake ," Schwartz said. " So definitely keep an eye out for what's around you ."