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Wildlife commission supports National Safe Boating Week

(NC Wildlife Resources Commission photo)

RALEIGH - National Safe Boating Week began Saturday and runs through May 26.

Here is a press release from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission about the week.

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To encourage safe recreational boating experiences, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has joined with the National Safe Boating Council to promote National Safe Boating Week on May 20-26. The Commission recommends these boating safety tips: -- Do not operate a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and do not maneuver the vessel in a reckless manner. -- Follow all navigational rules while underway. -- Wear a personal flotation device, better known as a life jacket, while on the water. "Wearing a life jacket is absolutely essential," said Maj. Chris Huebner of the Wildlife Resources Commission. "The seconds that it takes to put on a life jacket could mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident." The Commission's new Preserve Your Life campaign aims to help raise awareness of the benefits of life jacket use. Throughout the boating season, wildlife officers will hand out coupons that can be redeemed for discounts on life jackets at selected retailers. Participating retailers include Overton's, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, Great Outdoor Provision Co., Chatlee Marine and REI (Cary and Durham locations only). As in years past, wildlife officers will offer pre-launch courtesy inspections at various public access areas throughout the summer. Boaters can conduct their own pre-launch checks by reviewing the checklist and Vessel Operator's Guide at www.ncwildlife.org/boating. State regulation requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 operating a vessel powered by a 10-horsepower or greater motor to have completed an approved boating safety education course or otherwise be in compliance. The Commission offers free boating safety courses throughout the year. For more information, call (919) 707-0030 or visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.

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