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On Lake Manawa, holiday boaters urged to follow safety guidelines

Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Adam Gacke said drunk boating is the leading cause of injury on water
Posted at 7:48 PM, Jul 04, 2023

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Hot weather and the holidays, a time when many are out on the water celebrating with friends and family.

Boaters like Nick Heimer, know the importance of having proper equipment with them.

"So the first thing is — have life jackets for everybody, make sure you have a fire extinguisher and you have to have a horn or some sort of noise-making device," said Heimer.

Other equipment boaters must have include their boat registrations and throwable water rescue tools.

"Just make sure people are being safe and not drinking too much," he said.

Not drinking too much and having a designated driver is important.

Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Adam Gacke said drunk boating is the leading cause of injury on water.

"Unfortunately on water, because we're on a boat, we're bouncing up and down on the waves," said Gacke. "We've been in the sun all day, it's hot out… it enhances the effects of the alcohol."

Like on the road, the legal limit is 0.08. Boating while drinking can result in a BUI, Boating Under the Influence.

"We're looking to avoid those accidents and make sure everyone has a safe and good Fourth of July," said Gacke.

Boaters can also stay safe by following right-of-way rules, following the buoys, and speed and distance laws.

Nebraska and Iowa law enforcement officers have been patrolling waterways. They are asking for cooperation from boaters by following the laws and guidelines.

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