FOX47 NEWS - 4th of July Boating

Jeff Angileri
Jul 2, 2009, 10:18 PM

Wisconsin's lakes are about to get crowded -- really crowded.

The state is home to more than 635,000 boats, and that's not counting out-of-state watercraft.

Use common sense. Be courteous, said DNR conservation warden David Wood. Everyone realize there's gonna be a lot of people launching their boats.

Wood will be patrolling the lakes this weekend.

Making sure people have the proper number of light jackets on board, that they're not overloading the boat with too many people, Wood said.

Last year, 20 people died and 85 were injured in boat accidents in Wisconsin. Most of them were not wearing life preservers that could have kept them afloat.

Wardens will also be looking out for the lakes, trying to prevent the spread of invasive species.

It's illegal for a person to launch a boat trailer with weeds attached to it, Wood said.

Another concern this weekend, and every weekend -- drunken boating.

Alcohol continues to be a factor in boating accidents. Sunshine, glare, wind, and noise can cause fatigue and make the situation worse.

Because of those variables, it only takes a third of the amount of alcohol to slow a person's reaction time, according to the DNR.

A tip for any parents who let their kids drive -- anyone born after 1988 must take a boater safety course to drive a boat or wave runner.

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