Iowa DNR urging boaters to be safe and responsible before leaving the docks

Iowa DNR urging boaters to be safe and responsible before leaving the docs

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, it's always a good idea for people to keep boating safety rules in mind before hitting the waters.

Every year around 74 million Americans, including Siouxlanders, will be taking to the waters for recreational boating and kayaking.

Of course, while this can be an exciting time, bu it can also turn deadly if people are not proactive about staying safe at all times.

Steve Griebel has seen everything in the waters. from boat fires, accidents and even deaths. That's why the Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer says, if you're thinking about riding on the river or kayaking, be vigilant about the safety rules.

"We want to make sure we have all the life jackets, fire extinguishers, throwable devices, those sorts of things, that way it'll keep you safe while you're out there," said Griebel.

And with Memorial Day weekend being one of the busiest times of the year, added patrols will be taking place to enforce the state's boating rules and regulations.

Violations like speeding or reckless use of a watercraft can cost boaters upwards of $100.

"All of our seasonal officers are working and all the full time officers are working as well. There are a lot of volunteers that like to help us. Everything from the park rangers to the federal state officers and some of the county officers as well. There will be a lot of people in the water trying to keep everyone safe," said Griebel.

Keeping everyone safe, including Kayakers who will be making their way down the Missouri, from Yankton to South Sioux City for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge, Saturday.

Local kayaker Tina Fazio has a few words for boaters.

"We would appreciate if boaters could give us that extra bit of room, there have been instances maybe they don't realize how far they're going and if that kayak tips over it is nearly impossible to get it flipped over correctly, especially if you're by yourself," said Fazio.

And the South Dakota Kayak Challenge kicks off tomorrow, with racers from across the country and Canada and Mexico.

We'll have more on the 72 mile event, tomorrow on Siouxland News at 10.

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