Originals Online: North Carolina wildlife officers teaching boaters how to stay safe ahead of Memorial Day, summer

WASHINGTON, NC (WNCT) – Wildlife officers prepare for an active boating season. They say to wear a life jacket and be mindful of others when on the water.

Wildlife officers await thousands of boaters on North Carolina waters this Memorial Day weekend.

“People who don’t wear life jackets are the leading cause of boating-related deaths,” says Sgt. William Cain of the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Wildlife officers encourage people to have safety gear like flares, whistles, and radios in case of an emergency.

“Don’t drive, don’t drink, let everyone know if you’re going to be on the water this weekend, or if you’re going to be in the car, just make sure you have a sober operator,” Cain said. .

They also remind people to drive sober.

“What they don’t realize is that alcohol affects you differently when you’re outside than when you’re sitting in your house,” Cain said.

They know that not everyone is an experienced boater. They say if they stop at your boat, they are just trying to protect you and your passengers.

“Often times we can solve a problem with a simple verbal warning. And say ‘hey, don’t do it again,’ ”says Ofc. Ryan Biggerstaff.

View the boating laws of the state of North Carolina here.

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