Conservation Officers, who will be patrolling Indiana waterways this summer, are encouraging boaters to become familiar with state boating laws and to follow these safety tips:
1. Always wear your lifejacket.
2. Never sit on the gunwale (sides) of a motorboat while in motion.
3. Do not ride on the bow decking of a motorboat while in motion.
4. Never tow a skier or tuber without an observer.
5. Pay attention to marker buoys and idle zone restricted areas.
6. If over 21, consume alcoholic beverages in moderation (0.08 is the legal limit).
7. Use navigational lights and anchor lights between sunset and sunrise.
8. Obey the night time speed limit of 10 mph on all inland lakes.
Indiana had 58 open water drownings in 2013, the most recent available statistic. Many drownings are preventable by wearing a life jacket.
Lt. Kenton Turner, Indiana’s boating law administrator, said accidents on the water can happen too fast to reach and put on a life jacket that is stowed away.
“It’s important that everyone wears a lifejacket while on the water,” Turner said. “There is no reason why you, your family and friends can’t have fun on the water while also wearing a life jacket.”
The Indiana Boating Guide is available online at boat-ed.com/indiana/handbook. Hard copies are available at most boat marinas.
Watch an informative boating violations video at dnr.IN.gov/lawenfor/5066.htm.
Anyone witnessing boating violations or in need of assistance from a Conservation Officer can call (812) 837-9536 to reach any officer in the state.