It’s National Safe Boating Week.
Groups like Illinois Conservation Police are stepping up safety education campaigns for state residents headed out on the water this spring. Sergeant Chris Stone says a major issue is boating under the influence, but he’s also seen boaters with inadequate safety gear.
"A high percentage of boating fatalities are a result of drowning and if someone was wearing a proper sized flotation device, it would cut down a lot on the drownings that we have,” he said.
Stone also suggests boaters write down where they plan to travel, and leave that with a trusted party on land.
“If you’re going out on the water, maybe float plan, which lets people know if you don’t return home at a certain time that they can contact authorities and at least have an idea where you’re at, begin the search, and look for you,” he said.
Conservation Police will also be stepping up safety checks across Illinois, which includes ensuring those in control of their craft aren’t boating under the influence.