Memorial Day weekend is a time many Iowans head to the water, so the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters to put on a life jacket.
More than 200,000 boats in Iowa will hit the water this season, navigating more than 300,000 acres of water ways.
The DNR says safety is important and that starts with a life jacket because 84-percent of water fatalities nationwide involve people not wearing a life jacket.
Boat operators between the ages of 12 and 17 are required to take a boater safety course.
The head of the DNR boater education program says alcohol is a big problem
“Boating while intoxicated we want to have a safe designated drive, nationally about 34 percent of the fatalities involve alcohol, unfortunately with Iowa it’s over 50 percent,” says Susan Stocker with the DNR.
The legal alcohol limit for boating is the same as driving a car at .08.
Stocker also says before you go boating, make sure your hitch and trailer are in good shape, drain any water leftover from last year, and put back in the drain plug.
DNR officers will be on water ways in full force this weekend.