National Safe Boating Week begins Saturday, officials say ‘Wear It!’

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Wear It! That’s the message of the National Safe Boating Council as Saturday marked the start of National Safe Boating Week. They are calling on you to wear your life jacket when boating this summer. 

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) held a statewide kick-off event at a new public boat access area along the Schuylkill River in Berks County. 

“The very first step, which I believe is the most important, is to wear a life jacket,” Laurel Anders, Director, PFBC Bureau of Boating said. “Nearly 80% of all boating deaths in Pennsylvania happened to boaters who aren’t wearing a life jacket. It’s such a simple thing to wear a life jacket.”

As the summer boating season begins, boaters are reminded to enjoy the water safely by wearing a life jacket, taking a basic boating safety course, and never boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just like driving a car, the legal blood alcohol limit for operating any watercraft is .08%.

“Never boat under the influence,” Anders said. “Drinking and boating do not mix. Alcohol affects your balance, coordination, and judgment. And it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.” 

Officer in both NY and Pa will be on patrol throughout the summer looking for impaired boaters. For more safe boating tips, regulations, and where to find great places to boat near you, visit www.fishandboat.com.

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