Staying safe on the water

We are just days away from the Fourth of July. Many people who live on the Coast are planning to spend their holiday out on the water, but while you are having fun, it’s important that you stay safe.

In a matter of seconds, a fun day on the water can quickly turn into a tragedy, which is why the Department of Marine Resources wants to remind everyone to stay safe while boating. Captain Patrick Levine said, “As we go into celebrating Independence Day this week we want to remind boaters to be safe, I think about the expected boat traffic that will be out there with the congested traffic.”

When the waters are crowded with boats, the DMR says it is important to slow down and be mindful of where you are headed. This week, the DMR will have increased patrol out on the water. “Going into the weekend, I know a lot of people like to celebrate so one of the things they like to do is consume alcohol and we want to get the message out there that it is illegal and it can potentially be lethal, so don’t drink and drive.”

So while it is illegal to drink while operating a boat, passengers who are on the boat and over the age of 21 are allowed to consume alcohol. As for the younger ones, passengers 12 and under need to be wearing a life vest at all times. “You have to have one available life-jacket for everyone on board the vessel and that life jacket needs to be readily accessible; you need to be able to put it on.”

When it comes to lighting fireworks off your boat, officials say you may want to think twice. “Not only are you going to have fireworks on board your vessel, but you have gasoline so you want to avoid any fire accidents. Be careful when handling fireworks when you are around your vessel.”

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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