LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Nothing sounds better than a weekend on the water with the warm weather and clear skies. But, before you set sail, Bill Marsh of Power Boats Incorporated in Hot Springs said there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.

"The main thing you want to do is have a checklist to go over things on your boat that are real important," said Marsh.

He said, first, make sure all of your lights are working. Second, check the blower in the bilge compartment to make sure that is also working. Third, be sure the kill lanyard is on when operating the vessel.

If you are on Lake Hamilton this weekend, you are likely to see the U.S. Coastguard, Garland County Marine Patrol and Arkansas Game and Fish. They will be performing safety checks and making sure everyone is complying with regulations like having those all-important life vests.

"You may start to swim. You may not have a life jacket or some type of throwable device in the area, and the wind carries your boat off, and then the next thing you know, you're trying to struggle to get back to your boat," he said.

No matter how great of a swimmer you think you are, everyone is advised to wear a life jacket when you're on a boat. By law if you are 14 years old or younger, you must wear one when you're on the water.

"The rules on the lake are in place to keep you safe," finished Marsh.

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