Iowa boaters are urged to remember their safe boating rules as it’ll be a busy weekend ahead on the state’s waterways. Susan Hager, boating safety coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says Memorial Day weekend is always crowded on our rivers, lakes and streams — and it can be dangerous. Hager says dozens of people were involved in boating mishaps over the past few Memorial Day holidays.
Hager says there were 60 boat incidents statewide in 2006 while there were 81 incidents in 2005, so the numbers were down last year and "we’d like to continue that trend." She explains the definition of a "boat incident," serious enough to notify the DNR.
Hager says it’s an accident where there was personal injury, property damage or a fatality. She recommends boat operators practice defensive boating techniques and to avoid alcohol, adding, boat operators should keep their hand on the throttle and off the bottle. "Our primary goal is safety and having a sober operator can go a long way toward that end."