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Apr 21

Spring Boating Safety

Posted on April 21, 2020 at 1:07 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 4/21/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • In response to the current COVID 19 situation, all hearings and meetings for drainage have been suspendedWe will send out new notices for all hearings and meetings that need to be rescheduled.                                                                              

Early Season Boating Safety:

After almost a month of quarantining ourselves, people are starting to want to get outside and enjoy the joys of Minnesota living.  One of our biggest assets is our abundant lakes and water bodies.  However, spring and late fall boating activities can be very dangerous.

I came across this interesting reading about cold weather boating.  I know many weekend warriors don’t like to hit the lakes until it’s nice and warm out, but many avid fisher people like to get out as early as possible.  Early season, or “ice out” can be great times for pan fishing on many of our area lakes. 

Just like late fall hunting out of boats, early spring fishing can be dangerous if one finds themselves in the water.  A large portion of deaths and boating fatalities involve cold water situations and victims not wearing life jackets.  Boat capsizing and victims falling out into the icy-cold waters are the most common types of accidents involving deaths.  The icy-cold water is so deadly because many of us don’t know how to react to the sudden “shock” to the body system from the extreme cold.

Wearing a life jacket is the number one way of surviving falling into cold waters while boating.  Hypothermia isn’t the only way a person can die when immersed into icy waters.  Shock is the first thing a victim will feel after falling in.  Shock brings on panic and gasping for air, which can be followed by hyperventilation. 

Much of your energy is used up in the initial shock phase, which can causing drowning.  The longer you’re exposed to the water the quicker your legs and arms start to cool off, making it much harder to keep your head above the water if you can’t swim properly.  You can be an Olympic swimmer and still succumb to the effects of the icy waters.

Hypothermia is the worst stage of exposure.  The cooling off of the arms and legs and losing mobility to them, accompanied by intermittent losses of consciousness, makes for a dangerous recipe.  Hypothermia will eventually get bad enough that the body will cool off so much internally, that it will render you unconscious and you’ll drown if not wearing a life jacket.

Don’t be a victim this spring while boating, please wear a life jacket.  If you do find yourself capsized or thrown from the watercraft, try to swim to the watercraft and stay with it.  Most watercraft will float to some degree, even after being capsized.  Staying with the capsized watercraft not only gives you something to hang on to, which helps you float above water, but it also makes it easier for search and rescue personnel to find a larger boat with you hanging on to it.

For more information, read the entire article here:                                                                                                                          

Project Updates:  

  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  Televising should be completed.
  • JD09 (Le Ray Twp.)  No updates from last week.
  • JD34 (Le Ray Twp.)  No updates from last week.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Tree clearing and brush removal continue.  No open ditch cleaning has started, but is expected to in the next few weeks.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD87 (Garden City Twp.)  We have a singed work order to perform repairs for this system.  We are still awaiting estimates from multiple contractors for boring a new line under Minnesota Highway 60.
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  The collapsed tile that caused the temporary closure of CSAH 32, southwest of Lake Crystal, is now reopened.  Thanks to the quick response of two contractors, for getting this tile repair fixed so quickly.  We had one contractor open the collapsed tile which let the water drain down.  Our second contractor came in with a jetting truck.  The jetting truck can travel down the tile line pushing a high velocity stream of water, cleaning out any debris that may be slowing or preventing the flow of water downstream.  The jetting truck also can suck the water and debris back out.  This is an amazing piece of equipment that we have used many times before, saving thousands of dollars and many hours of labor.jetter truck
  • JD20 (Lyra Twp.)  Issues with a tile collapse.
  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Multiple things going on with this system.  We have three different contractors making multiple repairs across this public drainage system.  We have some small and large repairs to this aging system.
  • CD57 (Mapleton Twp.)  We finished our televising of the Mapleton solar farm area, behind the Casey’s gas station in Mapleton.
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  Inspected areas of new sink holes. 
  • CD93 (Decoria Twp.)  Inspected issues with a possible tile collapse or issues of slow draining tile water.  More televising is needed to further assess the situation.
bald eagel 2

Photo of an eagles nest taken from my cell phone, at a family friend's property in the area.  There are babies in the nest that will occasionally stick their heads above this huge nest.

We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist