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Game and Parks Urges Boaters to Think Safety This Summer

LINCOLN – Nebraskans are asked to be cautious when they enjoy a day on the water in their boats this summer. Boating safety should never be taken for granted.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission suggests ways boaters may reduce the risk of incidents and help ensure a safe and enjoyable day on the water.

Wear a Life Jacket – Children under age 13 and anybody on a personal watercraft are required by law to wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. People being towed by a boat on skis, a tube or other similar device also must wear a life jacket.

Avoid Alcohol – Boat operators can become impaired with less alcohol than motor vehicle drivers due to heat and dehydration. Boating Under the Influence is a criminal violation and is enforced actively in Nebraska.

Have All Required Safety Equipment – This will help boaters be prepared if an emergency occurs. Life jackets, throw cushions, fire extinguishers and bailing devices are required on most boats. For a list of what is required on a boat, check out the 2014 Boating Guide at BoatSafeNebraska.org.   Be Wary of Surroundings – The best boat operators constantly are looking around for other boats, personal watercraft, swimmers, stumps and other hazards. Speeds in excess of 5 mph are prohibited if within 30 yards of any other vessel, swimming area or dock.

Take a Boating Safety Course – Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1985, who operates a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska, must have successfully completed the Nebraska boating safety course. Visit BoatSafeNebraska.org for a list of classes.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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