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Indiana DNR reminds boaters to practice safety on the water

Indiana DNR officials say boaters should plan ahead before hitting the water this summer.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's boating season and conservation officials are giving out tips on how you can still have fun on the lake while being safe.

Sgt. Ted Stine with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and his team respond to at least two drownings a year at the Geist Marina.

"People have docked or anchored somewhere in a cove and been drinking all day. When they get ready to leave, they don't account for everybody and then they realize somebody is missing and they don't even know how long they've been missing. They've been underwater and no one saw them go down. So we have to come out and search for them," said Stine.

It's a scary situation that can be prevented if boaters remember one thing.

"Life jackets. Life jackets are the biggest safety thing we can have people use. If you got them, make sure they're accessible," said Stine.

While alcohol is allowed in a boat, Stine said you should have the same mentality when it comes to boating safety as you would driving a car.

"There are laws we have to deal with when we are out here. We want to make sure people are obeying those laws," he said. "Nighttime speed limit is ten miles an hour on our inland bodies of water. You have to have navigational lights when you're operating after dark."

Stine wants you to plan ahead.

"We understand people want to have a good time, but make sure you have a designated driver. Make sure you have somebody who isn't drinking that can operate your boat, so you won't get into a position where somebody goes overboard or you crash into another boat, and your boat sinks and you're not able to get that person out of the water," he said.

It's advice the DNR wants you to take with you on your next boating trip for a safe summer.

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