Safe Boating for this Fourth of July and Throughout the Summer
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 23, 2008)– With summer officially here and the Fourth of July holiday a couple of weeks away, more Tar Heel residents and visitors will be enjoying recreational boating, including after sunset.
Officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will patrol waterways across the state throughout the summer, with an emphasis on holiday traffic. They list the following areas of concern:
- Boating While Impaired
A blood-alcohol level of .08 is legally intoxicated for vessel operators. The law also allows an operator to be charged if appreciably impaired, regardless of blood-alcohol level. Exposure to wind and waves, combined with heat, motor noise and vibrations can create a condition known as boater fatigue, in which the effects of alcohol can be magnified up to three times.
- Night-Time Boating
Boating at night requires extra caution and observation. Visibility is reduced and special inland lighting rules are in effect for navigation. Water skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Personal watercraft, also known as jet skis and wave runners, are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise.
- Children Must Wear Life Vests
North Carolina law requires children younger than 13 to wear an appropriate life vest whenever they are on a recreational vessel that is underway. The life vest must be the proper size and have a U.S. Coast Guard approved label. It must be a correct fit also, with youth sizes corresponding to weight ranges. Make sure it is snug but comfortable.
Click here for important recreational boating information, including the Vessel Operator’s Guide, a safe boating checklist and how to enroll in a free boating education course, or call (919) 707-0031.