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Drownings propel deeper look into boating safety

Irondequoit, N.Y. With warm weather and sunny skies, Saturday was a great day to be out on the water.

Just enjoy the weather, said Fred Lajuett, who was heading out on his boat on Irondequoit Bay Saturday with several safety precautions aboard.Life jackets, fire extinguisher, make sure the horn works, the lights and throwing device, flotation device to throw to somebody if they do go overboard."

There are a number a safety items federal regulations requires on a boat,  including a life jacket that could be the difference between life and death.

I've seen a lot of different accidents, said Jake Van Reenen, owner of Tow Boat U.S. A lot of stuff that's been preventable by just wearing a life jacket.

Van Reenen also recommends boaters have a VHF radio and a float plan.

A float plan lets your family, friends, somebody know where you're going what you're doing and when you're expected to be back, he said.

You can never been too safe, said Lance Boyington, who we caught up with heading out on the water with friends. Water's a crazy thing.

Boyington and his friends love having a good time on the boat, but safety isn't far from his mind.

We always make sure we always have someone in a boat, said Boyington. There are three of us so if two of us jump in one stays in the boat. And we always have a life jacket in case anything should happen.

Boyington knows first-hand what it's like to run into a problem on the water.

Last year, I was on the boat when the engine wouldn't start," Boyington said. "Another boat towed us in so we wouldn't have to stay out there, so it actually worked out pretty good given the situation."

By law, every boat or vessel must have a life jacket for everyone on board. And kids under age 12 must wear one at all times unless they're in a completely enclosed area.

 
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Washington Times