Duke Energy encourages everyone to practice safety while boating and enjoying other activities on the lakes along the Catawba River.
Each year, thousands of people die or are injured, and millions of dollars of property damage occur because of preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways.
Everyone can make a difference by knowing and following all state-required safety rules and guidelines for boat operation, and ensuring each boat has the required safety equipment for the number of occupants and activities planned.
Duke Energy reminds people overnight camping, fires, littering, removal of any vegetation and permanent structures are strictly prohibited on any of the lakes’ public recreation access areas, islands or along the shoreline.
“We remind boating and camping enthusiasts to pick up after their day on the lake, respect the access areas, the islands and their neighbors and enjoy the outdoors safely,” said Erin Culbert, Duke Energy spokesperson.
• Parking at public recreation access areas is permitted in marked spaces only. Vehicles and trailers should not park along the highway. Vehicles found in prohibited areas may be towed without notice, at the owner’s expense.
• Keep the environment safe and clean by leaving no trace of your visit to the lakes. Handle gasoline and oil with care to avoid spills, and please don’t litter.
• Always wear a personal floatation device – one should be available for every passenger.
• Don’t overload a boat. Seats do not indicate capacity.
• Keep track of the weather. If caught in rough water, keep low in the boat and head into the waves.
• Alcohol and water don’t mix. Don’t mix alcohol with boating or swimming.
• Always be attentive on the water, and focus on operating the boat. Stay alert for other boaters and skiers.
• Use caution upstream and downstream of hydro dams, and observe posted signage.
• Carry all the proper equipment including a cell phone, drinking water (to prevent dehydration) and let your friends and family know where you are going and when you will return.
• Take advantage of the boating expertise available. The Red Cross, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the marine commissions and other organizations offer safe boating courses. Free boat inspections also are available.
For questions, call Duke Energy Lake Services at 800-443-5193.