RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is reminding boaters to stay safe this summer and always wear a life jacket while on the water during National Safe Boating Week May 20-26.
DWR notes as boaters prepare for boating season, they should make sure they have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in good condition that fit every occupant of the boat, including children. It is also encouraging that inflatable life jackets make it easy for adults to “Wear It” while enjoying time on the water and being a good role model.
“As the law enforcement division of the primary boating agency of the Commonwealth, we strive to promote a safe environment for everyone that enjoys recreating on the water. To be as effective as possible, we need your help. Please check your safety equipment at the dock, tell someone when to expect you back, make sure your vessel is seaworthy, and always designate an operator if there is alcohol aboard,” says DWR Major Ryan Shuler. “We want everyone to have fun and be safe!”
DWR urges boaters to always let someone know where they are going and when they expect to return and to have a plan to re-board their boat in case they end up in the water.
DWR notes weather conditions and a marine forecast can be found on the National Weather Service website, and the United States Geological Survey has water temperatures for some inland lakes and rivers.
DWR also suggests completion of a boating safety education course.
To learn more about boating laws in Virginia and information on boating, boating education and water safety, visit: dwr.virginia.gov/boating.