DNR officers remind boaters of safety on the water - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DNR officers remind boaters of safety on the water

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Beautiful, summer-like weather is bringing many boaters to the Mississippi River.

Family and friends are gathering in Guttenberg to have a good time.

However, the focus for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is safety. "The biggest things we're looking for as far as the law enforcement side of things, is to make sure people have their safety equipment," said Jerry Farmer, DNR conservation officer.

The DNR wants to make sure boaters have the required equipment.

"Life jackets, fire extinguishers, a sounding device whether that be a horn or a whistle, really making sure where people know where those life jackets are in the boat, and then ultimately one of the biggest things we focus on is to make sure people haven't had too much to drink and operating while drinking alcohol," said Farmer.

"We always got all our life jackets," said Tyler Andreae. "We make sure there's one life jacket per person, so if something does happen to happen, we've got our fire extinguisher, our life jackets, everything should be alright."

DNR officers say one of the biggest tips they have is boaters should be aware of their surroundings, look out for other boaters, but also for objects in the water. 

According to the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, 626 people lost their lives in boating accidents in 2015. Of them, 428 drowned, 82 percent were not wearing life jackets. 

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