WATERFOWL HUNTERS URGED TO TAKE BOATING SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
IDAHO (October 1, 2013) – Waterfowl hunting season has arrived in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) urges all waterfowl hunters to wear life jackets and take necessary safety precautions when on the water.
In 2012 seventy one (71) percent of all fatal boating accidents victims nationwide drowned, and of those, eighty-five (85) percent were not wearing a life jacket. Seven out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
“During Waterfowl season, hunters deal with hazardous and treacherous conditions. Add those conditions to a fall overboard or a capsized boat and that is a deadly combination,” said Juelie Traska, IDPR Boat Safety Education Coordinator. “Adhering to Idaho Boating Laws and following simple safety guidelines can help to prevent unnecessary tragedy.”
Idaho Boating Laws and Safety Guidelines:
- Idaho boating laws requires all vessels to have at least one properly sized life jacket for each person on board.
- Wear life jackets while on the water, especially when in transit or when the weather turns bad. Small boats combined with limited visibility and high winds can be hazards to safe navigation.
- Vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and in periods of restricted visibility such as fog or heavy rain.
- Be aware of the capacity of your boat and be careful not overload vessels. Many waterfowl boats are small and can easily be overloaded with hunters, dogs, and gear.
- Be prepared for changes in the weather and dress accordingly.
- Cold water kills! Learn about the dangers of cold water and how to safeguard yourself and your boat passengers at www.boatidaho.gov
For additional boating safety tips, or to learn more about recreation in Idaho, visit www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.