Iowa’s lakes and rivers continue to be busy, especially on the weekends.
Iowa DNR boating law administrator Susan Stocker, says things really got going during the Fourth of July. “I think the challenge is for 2020 as we might all agree is that cabin fever probably hit people about four-thousand percent. And so everybody based on previous restrictions wanted to be out and enjoy the weekend,” Stocker says.
She says there were 11 people arrested for boating under the influence of alchol during the Fourth of July weekend — which was a little above last year. There were 392 additional citations or warnings issued. Stocker says the crowds aren’t going away — especially with all the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having.
“With the temperatures in the 100’s then people are out on the water recreating — and though they are surrounded by water — they forget to drink water,” Stocker says. “Adding alcohol and not adding any water, dehydration and alcohol certainly don’t mix.” With this weekend likely to be another hot one, Stocker says boaters should drink plenty of water — and follow all the safety rules.
“With lifejackets, the only way that it is going to save you is if you are wearing it. Because unfortunately just like seatbelts –if you get into an accident in a car — you are not going to have time to put your seatbelt on before you get into a crash,” Stocker says.
She says having the life jacket nearby is not enough. “If you do get into a crash and are thrown out of a boat — the wind and waves are going to take you in one direction and your life jacket and safety equipment in another direction,” according to Stocker. “So, certainly, wearing the lifejacket is vital.” Any children 12 and under must wear a lifejacket at all times on a vessel underway in Iowa.