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Archive for Saturday, May 23, 1998

SAFETY RULES GIVEN FOR WEEKEND BOATERS

May 23, 1998

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Area lake officials are reminding boaters not to use alcohol while they are sailing or motoring on the water.

``We discourage the use of alcohol when boating,'' said Bunnie Watkins, natural resources management specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Perry Lake.

Under Kansas law, boaters who are intoxicated may be arrested for operating under the influence, similar to motorists who get behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks.

Hundreds of boats ranging from canoes to large motorboats are expected to be on Clinton and Perry lakes this Memorial Day weekend.

``It's going to be busy,'' Watkins said.

In addition to avoiding alcohol, Dave Rhoades, natural resources management specialist with the Corps at Clinton Lake, said boaters should check their craft's motor, lights and that personal floatation devices are on board.

``You'd be surprised how many people come out who haven't run their boats since last year, and find that it doesn't start and it doesn't run very good. Sometimes, they end up getting stranded on the lake.''

Additional boating ``dos and don'ts,'' according to the national ``Boat Smart from the Start'' campaign:

  • Wear a personal flotation device.
  • Know the environment in which you're boating.
  • Keep a good lookout.
  • Shut your engines off when people are in the water near the boat.
  • Observe nautical ``rules of the road.''
  • Check the weather forecast before departing.
  • File a float plan.
  • Don't overload the boat; keep a balanced load.
  • Don't stand in a small boat.

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