IDNR focuses on safety ahead of boating season - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

IDNR focuses on safety ahead of boating season

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to help make this the safest boating season on record.

They're launching a radio campaign to remind everyone to always wear their life jacket to help kick off National Safe Boating Week, which begins May 17. IDNR officials say public education and preparedness are main reasons behind a significant drop in boating accidents and fatalities on Illinois waters since the mid-1990s.

"We have come a long way in 50 years in improving safety with boating education and tougher laws, but we can still do better. Take a boating safety class, always wear your life jacket, and never drink before or while operating a boat," IDNR Director Marc Miller said. "With a little preparation and common sense, together we can make this boating season the safest in 50 years."

State law requires anyone under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket while on any watercraft under 26 feet in length, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property. Persons of any age are also required to wear a personal floatation device while operating a personal watercraft or jet ski.

For more information on boating safety, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov.
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