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DNR urges boat safety ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

The Department of Natural Resources says it's expecting a record number of boaters on its waters statewide.
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Posted at 5:50 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-28 21:16:10-04

GEIST — It's Memorial Day Weekend and the Department of Natural Resources says its expecting a record number of boaters on its waters statewide.

 “We have a record number of registered owners in Indiana now, post COVID that has changed quite a bit,” Officer John Gano with the Department of Natural resources said.

DNR says safety on the water all starts with planning ahead.

The department recommends before you get on your boat make sure you go through a checklist of equipment on board for everything from whistles to flairs.

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“Most boating related accidents fatalities we have are drownings and all those drownings are typically preventable if someone would have access to appropriate devices,” Officer Gano said.

Officials stress the importance of packing life jackets. The life jackets must be U.S. Coast Guard approved and each person on the boat must have one.

And of course, the DNR says one of the most important things is to stay sober on the water. “The rules apply as the same as you are on the roadway. As the operator you can’t be over .08 percent blood alcohol,” Officer Gano said.

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Like driving a car – officials say you can only control what you do when operating a boat and not what others are doing. “If you are going to be drinking and your condition as a driver is where you shouldn’t be driving, have somebody designated do that for you,” Officer Gano concluded.