Conservation Officer Gives Boating Safety Tips - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Conservation Officer Gives Boating Safety Tips

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The Iowa DNR says it expects more boaters to be out on the water earlier this year than last and is reminding people to practice boating safety this season.

"It's really important that people use caution out there," said state conservation officer Jeff Harrison. "Right now we've got some flood conditions. Even though it's minor this year, we still have flood conditions. And with that, it brings debris in the water. So there are obstacles in the water. Some could be sub-surface, some could be floating."

Harrison says most boating accidents are preventable if you're prepared. He says as the boating season starts up, people need to examine all the equipment on their boat to make sure there are no holes from mice on anything, particularly the life jackets and the throw cushion.

Harrison also suggests people have a plan when they go boating that involves letting people know where they will be and what time they plan on being there. He also says people should keep some kind of signaling device with them, such as a whistle or a waterproof marine radio, in case they need to call for help and can't use a cell phone.

"A lot of times if you plan ahead -- having a life jacket ahead of time for everybody, don't overload a boat, have a travel plan … these accidents can be prevented," said Harrison. "Should you find yourself in the water or a situation - use your head. That's going to be the best thing you can do. Don't panic."

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