Tips & advice for National Safe Boating Week

YORK COUNTY, Pa.-- It's National Safe Boating Week!

That makes it a great time to go over some tips & advice for safe boating.

Today on FOX43 Morning News, Lt. Col. Larry Furlong, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Bureau of Law Enforcement, stops by the set to offer more, including some of these general tips:

    • Every boating adventure should begin with wearing a life jacket. Law requires that you have a lifejacket on board for every person on your boat. Children ages 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket at all times when aboard a boat less than 20 feet long, including all canoes and kayaks. Roughly 80-percent of boating deaths victims were not wearing a life jacket. Life jackets must properly fit the individual.
    • Never boat under the influence (BUI). Alcohol use increases the chances of having an accident. Alcohol affects balance, coordination and judgment. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Penalties include loss of boating privileges, significant fines and imprisonment. Waterways Conservation Officers will be on patrol looking for impaired boaters.
    • File a float plan. This means letting someone know where you planning to boat and when you expect to return. Plans can change, but keeping someone aware of your location throughout the day can ensure that help arrives quickly if you experience an emergency while on the water. Carry a ‘dry bag’ to keep your cell phone in while boating.
    • Take a basic boating safety course. In Pennsylvania, All boaters born after December 31, 1981 or who operate a personal watercraft, regardless of age must have a Pennsylvania Boating Safety Certificate. Courses are available online or in classroom settings. Visit www.fishandboat.com to find an online course, or classroom course near you.
    • Have proper registrations and launch permits. All powered boats must be registered with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Unpowered boats, such as kayaks and canoes, do not require registration. However, to use PFBC or DCNR public boat ramps along any waterway including within state parks, you must have a launch permit issued by either the PFBC or the DCNR.

For more information, you can visit the PA Fish & Boat Commission's website here.

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