Wednesday May 22, 2013
Large Labor Day Boating Crowds, Caution UrgedSalem-News.com
(SALEM) - Labor Day weekend is one of the top three boating weekends of the year at many Oregon waterbodies, and the Oregon State Marine Board warns boaters to be cautious where it's congested. "Labor Day typically marks the end of the boating season and boaters will need to be courteous and patient in heavily used areas." says Ashley Massey, Public Affairs Specialist for the Marine Board. "There are plenty of great places to boat this holiday and we hope people get out and enjoy it *safely." Marine officers will be out in force to assist boaters and keep the waterways safe. "The top violations this summer involve life jackets, boater education cards, boater registration, boat speed and alcohol," says Massey. She suggests the following checklist to stay safe and legal this Labor Day weekend:
* Each boat must have a properly fitting life jacket for each person on board. It needs to be in good shape and readily accessible *not under a hatch or in its packaging. All youth 12 and younger must wear a life jacket when in the boat. This summer is one of the worst on record for drowning fatalities. Many of these people would have survived if they were wearing a life jacket. Remember, life jackets float, and you don't.
* Carry your boater education card. Boaters 50 and younger operating over 10 hp, and youth 12-15 operating any size powerboat, must carry a boater education card. Young adults 16 and older without a card can operate the boat but only with a card-carrying adult who is in direct supervision. Youth 12-15 need to be supervised by a card-holding adult when operating boats greater than 10 hp. Educated boaters are less likely to be involved in accidents.
* Slow down. Always obey the "5-mph, slow-no-wake" buoys or signs. Wakes can cause bank erosion and damage docks and other property. Remember to slow down within 200 feet of a dock, launch ramp, marina, moorage, floating home or boathouse, pier or swim float. Boaters also need to operate at slow-no-wake speeds within 200 feet of a shoreline on a lake, bay or reservoir, around swimmers, surfers, anglers or a diving flag.
* Boating and Alcohol. Officers are looking for intoxicated boat operators. If arrested, a violator can be fined $6,250, lose boating privileges for a period of time, and may even serve jail time. The Marine Board encourages boaters to leave the alcohol on shore or at home. Boat safe, boat sober.
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