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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : May 24, 2007


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Lt. Col Jerry Jenkins, Law Enforcement Section (304) 558-2784

Division of Natural Resources to Patrol State Waters During Memorial Day Weekend

During the Memorial Day weekend and throughout the boating season, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will be conducting patrols with emphasis on boating laws and regulations and boater safety, according to Lt. Col. Jerry Jenkins of the DNR Law Enforcement Section.

The DNR reminds boaters to have a personal floatation device (PFD) for each person aboard a vessel. PFD’s must be readily and immediately accessible in case of an emergency. Each PFD must be Coast Guard approved, in good condition and the proper size for those aboard. Children age 12 and under must wear a fitted PFD at all times on a vessel that is underway. Skiers must also wear a PFD while being towed.

Boaters should never overload or overpower a vessel. A vessel’s maximum number of people, weight capacity, and horsepower is listed on the U.S. Coast Guard Capacity Plate, which is located in view of the operator of the vessel.

Boat operators should always remember the rules of the road, practice good seamanship, and never use alcohol or drugs while operating a boat.

“Conservation officers investigate numerous boating accidents every year,” said Lt. Col. Jenkins. “ Some of the accidents are fatal. Most of these accidents are preventable with just a little common sense. Simply wearing a PFD could prevent most of the fatal accidents.”

Boater Education is mandatory for boat operators born after 1986. Conservation officers teach these classes, usually in the spring. Class also are available online.

If you have any questions regarding boating laws and regulations or boater safety, please contact the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources at (304) 267-0037 or and then have a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend.


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