With the unofficial start of summer this weekend, area boaters will be hitting the local lakes.

Here are some great boating tips to make sure you have a fun and safe time on the water.

Plan ahead.

Stay alert at the boat ramp and while underway.

Be extra cautious when boating at night. Turn on boating lights between sunset and sunrise.

Double check your safety gear prior to leaving the dock. Make sure there is a life jacket for each person aboard.

Designate a sober skipper.

Bring a Cell phone/charger aboard in case of emergencies.

On Water Emergency – Call Missouri State Water Patrol Division- *55  or 1-800-525-5555

*info courtesy of Discoverboating.com