Online Originals: NC Wildlife officers telling boaters how to stay safe ahead of Memorial Day, summer

North Carolina

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Wildlife officers are preparing for an active boating season. They say to wear a life jacket and be mindful of others while out on the waters. 

Wildlife officers are expecting thousands of boaters on the waters of North Carolina this Memorial Day weekend.

“Our number one cause of boating fatalities is people not wearing a life jacket,” says Sgt. William Cain with North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission.

Wildlife officers encourage folks to have safety equipment like flares, whistles, and radios in case of an emergency.  

“Don’t drink and drive, just advise everyone if you’re going to be out on the water this weekend, or if you’re going to be in the car, just make sure you have a sober operator,” said Cain.  

They’re also reminding people to drive sober. 

“What they don’t realize is that alcohol affects you differently when you’re outside than it does when you’re sitting in your house,” said Cain 

They know not everyone’s an experienced boater. They say if they pull up to your vessel, they’re just trying to keep you and your passengers safe.   

“A lot of times we can solve an issue with just a verbal warning. And say ‘hey, don’t do this again’,” says Ofc. Ryan Biggerstaff.  

Check boating laws for the state of North Carolina here.

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