The Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Marine and Trail Enforcement (MATE) Bureau, is reminding all boaters to plan ahead for a safe boating season. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators provides a helpful website, with safety tips to follow before you put your boat in the water and while on the lake:

Some of these safety tips focus on the dangers associated with boating under the influence (BUI), the importance of everyone on board always wearing a life jacket, the benefits of taking a boating education course, and the significance of utilizing an engine cut-off switch.

Based on the most common violations observed already this season, MATE wants to remind boaters to renew your boat registration, keep your throwable PFD out and readily accessible, and make sure your battery terminals are covered.

For boats with a fire extinguisher installed, make sure you have a full charge and it is not expired. Fire extinguishers are usually good for 10-12 years. Make sure your boat engine is tuned up and battery is charged before going out on the lake.

Don’t become another statistic. Drive sober. Safe boating is smart boating.

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