www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Travel & Recreation
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: State/All Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2012

Illinois Conservation Police prepare for another busy year on the water; reminds public about the importance of life jackets
National Safe Boating week begins May 19

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the summer boating season approaches, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are reminding the public to “Wear It!” in conjunction with the North American Safe Boating Campaign’s National Safe Boating week, May 19-25. 

“The ‘Wear It!’ message is a simple, straightforward and easy message to understand. Everyone on board a boat should wear their life jacket from the time they get on until the time they get off the vessel.  It could literally save your life,” said Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. 

Statistics compiled by the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement show that there were 103 reportable boating accidents in 2011, resulting in 70 injuries and 21 fatalities.  Those totals compare with 102 reportable boating accidents on Illinois waters in 2010, resulting in 73 injuries and 16 fatalities.  There were 102 reportable boating accidents on Illinois waters in 2009, resulting in 71 injuries and 25 fatalities.

Illinois Conservation Police are responsible for patrolling public waters of the state and will be on the water this boating season checking for sobriety by boat operators and compliance with boating laws in Illinois.

Illinois law requires that personal floatation devices (PFDs) – life jackets or life vests – be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft.  State law also requires that anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property.  Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft or jet ski.
 
As part of the Illinois Conservation Police boating safety enforcement effort, officers also strictly enforce laws regarding operating under the influence (OUI) for boat operators.

“Operating a boat under the influence is just as risky as operating a motor vehicle.  If you are operating a boat, be smart and don’t drink,” added Chief Gutierrez.

Among the primary causes of boating accidents are operator inattention, alcohol use, careless/reckless operation, and operator inexperience.  The IDNR offers free boating safety courses providing a review of boating laws and regulations and instruction on safe and attentive operation of watercraft.  State law requires boating safety education for persons ages 12 to 17 and encourages boaters of all ages to take a safety course.  Safety courses, which are taught by volunteer instructors, are available throughout Illinois and schedules are available by calling 1-800/832-2599 or by checking the links on the IDNR website’s boating information page at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/BoatingSafety.aspx.  Online boat safety courses are also available for a fee.

National Safe Boating Week is observed each year during the week leading up to the Memorial Day holiday.  This year’s National Safe Boating Week observance is May 19-25 with the theme “Wear It!” to remind boaters of the importance of wearing life jackets.   For more information on the national safe boating campaign, go to the website at http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com
 



###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us