ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Boating season is upon us and 18 News wants to make sure that you stay safe while traversing the waterways in the Twin Tiers.

18 News spoke with Jim Pfiffer of the Chemung River Friends, as well as Chemung County Sheriff Bill Schrom to get some tips on how you can stay safe and avoid trouble with the law.

They both emphasized using common sense while boating, whether in a motorized vessel or not. Wearing a life vest was the important piece of advice they mentioned.

From November 1st to May 1st, you must wear a life vest at all times, no matter your age. At all other times of the year, a life vest must be in the boat and accessible to everyone on the vessel. If you’re 12 or under, you must wear a life vest at all times.

You also must have a whistle, or other loud device to alert others in the event you’re in trouble.

The penalties associated with being caught without the proper safety equipment is up to the particular judge that sees the case.