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Print

Conservation police on lookout for boating safety violations

May 21, 2013 at 08:29 AM

Prairie State Outdoors

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police officers will be strictly enforcing boating safety laws during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Boaters particularly are urged to observe rules regarding personal flotation devices and the use of alcohol.

There were 101 boating-related accidents on Illinois waters, resulting in 17 deaths and 77 injuries in 2012.

Alcohol use was a contributing factor in 13 of the accidents and five of the fatalities.

Those totals compare with 103 boating accidents in 2011, 70 injuries and 21 fatalities.

Personal floatation devices – life jackets or life vests – must be available for each person.

Persons under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or on private property.

Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft.

The DNR division of law enforcement recommends boaters go beyond the letter of the law and wear a personal flotation device at all times.

For more information about boating safety, visit: http://tinyurl.com/dnrboatsafety and http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

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