Heavy boat traffic expected Memorial Day weekend
Iowa’s peak boating season begins Saturday, and with it comes reminders for boat owners to make sure they have a current boat registration sticker on the vessel and that Iowa has a.08 alcohol limit for boat operators.
“Going boating with friends is a fun way to spend a day and just like car drivers, boat operators are responsible for their passengers’ safety and for other boaters on the water,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “A designated boat operator who abstains from alcohol is what we recommend.”
In 2013, 56 boat operators were cited for boating while intoxicated.
Boaters also are reminded Iowa law requires any person 12-17 years old to complete a boater education program before operating a motorboat over 10 horsepower or a personal watercraft. The online version is at www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/Boating/BoaterEducation.aspx.
Iowa’s top two boating safety violations are for not having the appropriate number or type of lifejackets onboard and for going too fast or too close to another boat or shore.
Stocker said boaters should slow their speeds with the expected heavy traffic, watch out for other boaters, go through their boat and trailer looking for problems before leaving the driveway and make sure safety equipment is on board and in working order.
“We will have officers patrolling on the water all summer with additional patrols during weekends and holidays when boat traffic is highest,” Stocker said.