CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah experts share life-saving boat safety tips

May 14, 2024, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm

Yardley Makefield Marine Rescue leaving the Yardley Boat Ramp along N. River Road heading down the ...

Yardley Makefield Marine Rescue leaving the Yardley Boat Ramp along N. River Road heading down the Delaware River on Monday morning July 17, 2023, in Yardley, Pa. Search and rescue units are looking for two lost children caught in flood waters Saturday. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — As temperatures rise, the waves beckon boaters and skiers. But will you know what to do and have the needed items aboard in case of an emergency? Two Utah experts share their knowledge and experience about boat safety.

Ty Hunter, boating program manager, and Steve Bullock, chief of law enforcement for the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation, discussed  boat and people safety tips with KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic.

 

Hunter said boaters could speed as fast as they like on open waters but must slow to a wake-less idle if they are within 150 feet of other boats, a dock, a boat ramp, anglers on shore or a skier down.

“Even retrieving your own skier, approach them slowly and that’ll be able to prevent most, if not all, of our collision incidences,” he said.

Hunter’s advice to boaters: Slow down, you are on vacation.

He said to check the weather forecast before heading out on the water as it can change quickly in Utah, especially at higher elevations.

Boat safety items to carry onboard

Nationally, 80% of people who drowned in boating accidents would have survived had they been wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), according to the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation. 

Utah law states there must be at least one properly-sized U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard a vessel. Also, 12-years-old and younger passengers must wear a properly-sized Coast Guard-approved life jacket whenever a boat is in operation.

According to the Presonal blog, in addition to PFDs, boaters should also carry aboard:

  • Food and water
  • Distress signals
  • Tools and spare parts
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kit
  • Radio to receive weather updates
  • Flashlight and spare batteries

Boaters should  also carry PFDs that are throwable devices or life savers for people in the water. A throwable device is required for all boats over 16 feet in length, Bullock said.

“A lot of times it looks like a square seat cushion. It’s rated by the Coast Guard for certain amount of flotation. It’s easy to throw. A lot of times when you try to throw a life jacket that kind of twirls in the wind. This has a little bit more weight and heft to it so you can get it to somebody,” he said.

If you see someone struggling in the water, throw them a PDF but never jump in to save a person without putting on a life jacket first, Bullock said.

A throwable device is “just a basic piece of safety equipment that we want everybody to have on their boats.”

Don’t drink and drive a boat 

Boating under the influence (BUI) is the same as driving under the influence. The same penalties apply, including suspension of driver’s license, possible jail time and fines, says the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation. If arrested, your boat, trailer and tow vehicle may be impounded.

Related:

Reward offered for Strawberry Walleye invasion


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

South Salt Lake Police have arrested a man who they say deliberately hit a police officer....

Peter Johnston

Police: man deliberately ran truck into officer weeks after death of Santaquin police Sgt.

Police said they arrested a man who they accuse of deliberately hitting an officer with his truck.

3 hours ago

John Prior speaks with Chad Daybell during a hearing in August 2020. An FBI agent testified Monday ...

Becky Bruce

Chad Daybell trial: witness testimony ends, closing arguments begin Wednesday

If the state of Idaho wraps up its questioning of rebuttal witnesses today, closing arguments in the trial of Chad Daybell would take place next.

5 hours ago

Medically Vulnerable People program facility in Sandy, a resident of the homeless facility was arre...

Sam Herrera

Resident at Sandy homeless facility arrested for murder of roommate

Police say a 62-year-old resident at the Sandy homeless facility was found dead in her room on Sunday, the victim of an apparent murder.

22 hours ago

traffic on freeway, 100 deadliest days in utah start today...

Mark Jackson

Memorial Day marks beginning of 100 deadliest days on Utah roads

The Utah Highway Patrol said that 85 people died during the 100 deadliest days on Utah roads during the summer of 2023.

1 day ago

Multiple people have been taken into custody following an incident involving police and a SWAT team...

Devin Oldroyd

Police reopen area near 3600 South in South Salt Lake after SWAT situation

Police reopened the area around 3600 South and 300 East after keeping it closed and telling residents to stay indoors for several hours Monday morning.

1 day ago

A man was taken into custody Sunday after he allegedly assaulted random people during Sunday servic...

Mark Jones, KSLTV.com

Man taken into custody for alleged assaults at Cathedral of the Madeleine

A man was taken into custody Sunday after he allegedly assaulted random people during Sunday service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Utah experts share life-saving boat safety tips