The number of drownings this summer is way up over last year and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it’s time to make a change in the life jacket law. D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says 17 people have drowned in Iowa lakes and rivers compared to 11 last year. Baskins says the agency will ask state lawmakers in January to require anyone under 13 to wear a life jacket on a boat. He says they’ve seen that boating accidents happen quickly and people can go down in a matter of seconds. Current law requires boaters to have a life jacket on board for each passenger — but they’re not required to wear them.Baskins says he has kids and a boat and he’s heard the arguments about the life jackets being too hot or cumbersome. But, he says any minor inconveniences can be negated if the life jacket saves a life. Baskins says a state law would bring Iowa into line with federal law. He says there is some confusion because on federal waters like the Coralville and Red Rock Reservoirs, and the boundary waters of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, life jackets are required for kids 13 and under. Baskins says 44 other states already have mandatory life jacket laws.
You are here: / / Drownings are up, D-N-R will ask for tougher life jacket law