DES MOINES, Iowa — As Iowa’s summer continues to heat up, you will likely see boats fill up local marinas and lakes.

The Iowa DNR is reminding everyone that safety is a top priority when out on the water. The Coast Guard reports that 84% of drowning victims were not wearing their life jackets. The law requires that children 12 and younger have to wear a life jacket.

“Children 12 and under, don’t have the hands and eye coordination needed to if they fell overboard to put on a life jacket and clip it,” said Angie Jansen with the Iowa DNR. “So that’s why it’s required for children and under 12 is because they just don’t have that coordination, especially y if they’re panicked you know if they’re in the water they can’t swim or something, you know if makes it harder for them to actually put a life jacket on and clip it.”

Jansen said even if boaters forget their life jackets, there are available ones around boat ramps.

“The corps has life jacket trees set up at all the boat ramps. So if you do forget a child’s life jacket or you do forget, you know maybe you don’t have enough life jackets on board, you can borrow one from the life jacket’s tree and just return it when you’re done,” Jansen said.

Regardless of whether that’s a boat, canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, the DNR said to have as many life jackets as people on board. Make sure the life jacket is approved by the Coast Guard and that you get one that matches your chest size and not according to your weight.

In addition to life jackets, depending on the size of your boat and motor owners are required to have a throw-able flotation device, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle or horn. The DNR is also reminding boaters to stay up to date on their boat registration.

For more information about boating and other requirements, you can go Iowa DNR’s website.