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Administration Home News/Information Contact Us DNR Home   

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director

 

News Release : April 28, 2005

 

Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380 hoymurphy@wvdnr.gov

Contact: Lt. Tim Coleman , Law Enforcement Section (304) 558-2784 law@wvdnr.gov

 

Summer Boating Safety Tips; Sign Up for Boating Safety Classes

 

   With summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to think about how you'll make summer boating safer. To give you some ideas, the Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section offers these easy tips that could mean the difference between a good or bad day on the water:

 

•  What is your reason for not wearing a life jacket? "It's not comfortable," or simply, "I'm not planning on going in the water, so why do I need one?" most often comes to mind. Unfortunately, both of those reasons don't hold water. Today's inflatable life jackets are as comfortable as wearing a simple belt or lightweight harness. And no one "plans" to go in the water, but when an accident does occur and boaters go overboard -- sometimes unconscious -- it's often too late to don a life jacket.

 

•  While most boaters know that kids 12 years of age and under have to wear a life jacket while the boat is underway, don't forget that the jacket needs to fit properly. An incorrectly sized life jacket may be no better than not wearing one at all and it gives you a false sense of security. If your life jacket doesn't fit right, check out the sizes at the many sporting goods (including marinas) and discount stores around the state.

 

•  Leave the alcohol at home. Alcohol played a significant role in nearly 40 percent of all boating fatalities. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that boat operators with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 percent are more than 10 times as likely to be killed in a boating accident as boat operators with zero blood alcohol concentration. In 2004 the blood alcohol concentration was lowered to .08, and that just makes matters worse. You can take this risk for yourself, your boating guests and family, or you can leave the alcohol at home or corked until you are safely tied up for the night. You can make the right choice.

 

  If you need more information on the boating laws in West Virginia , visit www.wvdnr.gov and look for the link to boating information. Remember, any person born after December 31, 1986, must complete a boating education course before they are permitted to operate a motorboat, including a personal watercraft. If you would like to take a boating safety class, contact your nearest DNR District Office.

**DNR**




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