U.S. Coast Guard reminds boaters to be safe for holiday weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

U.S. Coast Guard reminds boaters to be safe for holiday weekend

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Over the course of 2012, there were 4,515 boating accidents that involved 651 deaths and 3,000 injuries. Over the course of 2012, there were 4,515 boating accidents that involved 651 deaths and 3,000 injuries.
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

As people head to the lake this weekend, boating and sunscreen is a perfect recipe to continue the holiday celebration.

Along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, however, July 4th is the summer holiday that brings a high number of boaters to the water.

According to Iowa Boating Laws and Responsibilities, required equipment to have on board includes things such as life jackets, navigation lights, fire extinguishers and visual distress signals. Boaters are required by federal law to have one life jacket for each person that is on board. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds boaters to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Have a VHF-FM marine-band radio on board to contact rescue agencies if in distress
  • Have a float plan - tell family or friends where you are going and when you plan to return
  • Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning

Over the course of 2012, there were 4,515 boating accidents that involved 651 deaths and 3,000 injuries. Of the victims that drowned, 85 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Seventeen percent of the deaths were a result of boating under the influence.

The same drinking and driving laws apply to drinking and boating. A person is considered boating while intoxicated if he or she has a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or more. One can receive a fine of up to $1,000 and can be jailed for at least 48 hours.

To access the Handbook of Iowa Boating Laws and Responsibilities, go to www.iowadnr.gov.

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