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Energy & Environment

Lincoln County Officials Encourage Safe Boating

Wisconsin DNR

MERRILL, WI (WSAU) -- Officials with the Lincoln County Sheriff's office will be out this week patrolling the rivers and lakes in the county to make sure residents are practicing safe boating.

Lieutenant Tim Fischer says the Holiday weekend is the perfect time to remind residents about safe boating practices such as having an adequate amount of life vests and proper lighting at night. Additionally, he wants everyone to remember that just like with your car, alcohol and boating don't mix. "Reaction times, decision making, and judgment are all impaired," said Fischer. "It could be a dangerous combination."

The county's recreational deputy will be out working with officials from the Wisconsin DNR to enforce those boating regulations as the holiday draws near. "We have a marked boat that will patrol selected waterways. We do what we can to make sure everyone is out there being safe." The other major violation they'll be looking for is life vests. "There have to be enough floatation devices on the watercraft for everybody in the boat."

Fischer says they'll also be checking to make sure all boats are properly registered and to ensure boaters do have proper safety certifications. Anyone born after January 1st, 1989 must have completed a boat safety course in order to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft. "We want everyone to be able to enjoy the water equally and we want everyone to be safe," he added.

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