Be safe on the water this July 4th with Iowa DNR boating tips

Local News
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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to remind boaters to stay safe this holiday. The Fourth of July weekend tends to be the busiest period on Iowa waters, and the DNR has some tips on how you can stay safe this Independence Day.

  • Don’t drink and operate a boat
  • Take a boating safety course
  • Always wear a life jacket- it can’t work if it’s not on
  • Have a throwable floatation device on board
  • Review boating laws
  • Remember, youth under age 13 are required to wear a lifejacket while the boat is underway
  • Have patience and be courteous on the ramp and water
  • Get a weather forecast before heading out
  • Keep watch for other boaters, swimmers, skiers, debris or other obstacles in the water
  • Have a fully charged, usable fire extinguisher
  • Maintain your boat trailer (lights, wheel bearings, tires)
  • Have a working horn or whistle
  • Prepare your boat in the rigging lane prior to launching
  • Don’t operate in a careless or reckless manner
  • Don’t violate buoys, as they are the road signs of the water

“We urge boaters…including passengers…to remain alert to activity around them,” advises Susan Stocker, boating law administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. “Don’t overload your craft. The U.S. Coast Guard, along with manufacturers, determines the capacity of each boat and it is visible on virtually all boats. Watch for objects at or just below the surface. The rain and runoff may have washed logs or other debris into the water or moved previous obstacles to different locations.”

The DNR says that Iowa has more than 231,000 registered boats. Many of those will be out this weekend and for the rest of the summer. With everyone aware, everyone stays safe on the water.

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