DNR reminding boaters to celebrate safely ahead of Memorial Day

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 2:51 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES, (KWQC) - Memorial Day weekend kicks off boating season for many in the Quad Cities. The Iowa DNR is reminding boaters to celebrate safely.

“We want to make sure they have all their safety equipment and we encourage individuals to wear life jackets at all times when they are in a boat, we also encourage new boaters to take our boater safety education course,” says Travis Graves, State Conservation Officer with the Iowa DNR.

The DNR says the coming weekend is also a big time for drinking, and hopes to discourage you from boating under the influence.

“A lot of people associate boating with drinking unfortunately. That’s one of the number one causes of boat collisions is alcohol and impairment.

According to the US Coast Guard, over four thousand boating accidents were reported in 2019, many of them due to boating while intoxicated.

“So we like to encourage operators to have nothing to drink instead of trying to determine whether or not they are over the actual limit or not,” Graves says.

Iowa and Illinois law require a life jacket on board for each passenger. According to the Coast Guard, 84 percent of drowning victims who died in a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.

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