DMR reminders for Fourth of July boating safety
This weekend is going to be a busy one on the Mississippi Sound with the Fourth of July and the end of the recreational red snapper season on Monday.
Biloxi resident Dakota Cruse said, “I’m going to go out there, sit do a little bit of fishing, and watch the fireworks.”
Long Beach resident Coby Trent said, “I just can’t wait to get on the boat and watch the fireworks.”
Long Beach resident Briely Trent said, “Going swimming on the island and watching the fireworks.”
Many are planning on taking boats out for the Fourth of July weekend and that includes watching fireworks. But some won’t be able to participate in the festivities, like those who work in law enforcement agencies like the Department of Marine Resources. “But that’s okay. We’re out here to make sure the public is safe and we enjoy our job very much.”
Here are some ways you can make their job easier. For one, don’t let yourself boat under the influence and receive a BUI. Patrol Commander Captain Michael Strickland said, “The laws of operating a boat under the influence are the same as operating a motor vehicle on the roadway.”
The impacts of alcohol are often worse during boating trips. “Dehydration, heat, and sun exposure for extended periods of time are often enhancing factors to how alcohol effects the body.”
You need to remember to bring your life jacket. If you forget, the Sea Tow Foundation offers life jackets using the honor system. You can find one that fits properly, wear it for your trip, then drop it off when you’re finished.
There are also plenty of fireworks displays scheduled for the weekend and night boating can be dangerous. “Have a plan in place. Know where you’re going and how to get back. The waterways are different at night, we don’t have marked lanes of traffic.”