Boating safety, rules ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Augusta (WQOW) — It’s the time of year when many are planning to hit the waterways to kick off summer this weekend.

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the Wisconsin DNR is reminding people of how to keep themselves and others safe. The DNR told News 18, you must go through a boat safety course and get your operator license, along with having your boat registered before leaving the dock.

Memorial Day weekend is often the first weekend many people get out on the water, so double check your boat is in safe, working order. It is also required that every person has access to a life jacket, or personal floatation device, whether you’re on a boat, kayak or on a jet ski.

"It’s required to have a wearable life-jacket for everyone on a boat, but it’s also required that they’re in serviceable condition," said DNR Conservation Warden, Ken Thomson. "So, check them over, make sure they don’t have any holes in them, buckles work, straps work, make sure that they fit because it’s also required that they fit the person they’re wearing. So, we don’t like to see kids wearing a life-vest that’s designed for an adult because if they fall in the water, it would pop right off."

Thomson also said there will be boat patrols out watching for safe and sober boating this weekend, and every weekend throughout the season. Thomson added anyone caught violating boating regulations will face citations.

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