Boating safety urged for 4th of July holiday
by Wyoming Game & Fish
July 1, 2008
The Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest weekend of the year for Wyoming boaters and is also the busiest weekend of the year for Game and Fish officers charged with enforcing boating regulations.
The Game and Fish advises boaters to become familiar with the regulations involving operation of watercraft and the safety equipment required for different classes of watercraft. A new regulation this year requires all youth 12 years and under to wear an approved life jacket while boating. Wyoming law also requires the wearing of a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) of suitable size for anyone being towed or operating personal watercraft such as jet skis, wave runners etc. In addition, persons operating motorboats or personal watercraft must be at least 16 years old or accompanied by an adult.
Boating under the influence (BUI), the boating counterpart to DUI, is also common over the 4th of July holiday. Wyoming judges are taking the BUI violation very seriously and boaters found in violation could be subject to heavy fines and loss of boating privileges.
Boaters are also reminded to make sure the proper boating safety equipment is on board and in working order. Watercraft over 16 feet are required to have an approved Coast Guard throwable device on board and an approved PFD of suitable size is required for each person on board of all watercraft regardless of size of the craft.
Having boats that are not registered is another common violation. The law requires registering of all boats powered by propulsion machinery of any type, including electric trolling motors.
A complete listing of Wyoming boating laws can be obtained from any Game and Fish office or the Game and Fish Web site http://gf.state.wy.us.