(WWLP) – With Thursday’s warm weather, many had the same idea: putting the boat in the water ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

If you do plan on engaging in water activities such as swimming, or kayaking you should never head out alone.

People were able to get their first taste of summer on Thursday, as many came down to Brunelle’s Marina to soak up the sun rays and take a dip in the water. So, its a good time to practice water competency and keep you and your loved ones safe.

Tony Spear of the West Springfield Fire Department told 22News, “we always tell people if you are going to go out and swim it’s really important to know the area that you are going to know the water, know the depth of it. Just be familiar with it so you’re aware of any hazards that might exist.”

Taking the right precautions in water is always important, because it just takes one second to be put into a dangerous situation.

“Always have a flotation device on your body, not just in the kayak or in the boat. You want to refrain from alcohol or drugs while you’re out there because that will up the risk,” Spear added.

In 2017, 42 unintentional drowning deaths occurred in Massachusetts and drowning was the 3rd cause of unintentional injury death among Massachusetts children. So before heading out be sure bring a map, flotation devices, and of course never head out alone.

22News spoke to Luke Brunelle owner of Brunelle’s Marina about what to keep in mind before heading out on the water this summer.

“When you get out there this time of year, early, there’s no channel markers on the river so know where you’re going or get a map. Number two, don’t forget the simple things: check your safety gear, make sure your drain plug is in, do good boat system, check lights, horn, all that stuff,” Brunelle said.

In 2021 alone, more than 50 people died by drowning.