May 23, 2023 |

Photo – Seminoe Dam – Bigfoot99 file photo

With the official kick-off to summer this weekend, that means taking the boat out, maybe for the first time this year. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds all boaters to be prepared and to make sure your watercraft is outfitted with required safety equipment before hitting the water.

Boaters are required to have a life jacket available for each individual on board. Life jackets must be properly sized, U.S. Coast Guard-approved and in good condition. They cannot be waterlogged, torn or have straps broken or missing. Life jackets also need to be readily accessible to the passengers on board. Children 12 years old and under are required to wear a life jacket while the boat is underway unless they are inside an enclosed cabin. Anyone being towed by a boat, wake surfing or riding on a personal watercraft (jet ski) is required to wear a life jacket as well.

National statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2021 and that 83 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

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