Summer has officially arrived here in Montana. And with that, so has boating season. Just recently, in the last couple of years, I have become a boat owner. It has been a learning experience, as well as a humbling experience. The one thing that owning a boat has taught me, is that you always need to be prepared for the worst. When you are out on the water, anything can happen.

Montana FWP has a list of not only required items that need to be onboard your boat, but also emergency gear and a pre-launch checklist.

Items required by law are:

  • Wearable Life Jackets (Types I, II or III)
  • Throwable PFD (Type IV for boats 16' or longer)
  • Fire Extinguisher(s) (motorboats)
  • Backfire Flame Arrester (motorboats)
  • ventilation System (motorboats)
  • Whistle or Horn
  • Navigational Lights
  • Registration Document
  • Boat Number, Permanent Decal and Validation Decals

Emergency items include:

  • Throw Rope/Bag
  • Signaling Mirror
  • Whistle (on life jacket)
  • Light/Strobe (on life jacket)
  • Rescue Blanket

Recently a group of people were recreating on one of Montana's most gorgeous bodies of water, Holter Lake. After what seemed like a typical day on the water, the wind picked up and so did the waves on the water. As the boat tried to make its way back to shore, the boat capsized, sending its passengers into the water. What happens next was nothing short of a miracle. Strangers on shore sprung into action and rescued all 6 on board, as well as the boat.

See the full story from our friends at KPAX

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