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Officers Remind Boaters Of Safety Requirements For Summer Fun

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento Police officers say they talk with about ten boaters every day about safety and issue citations about 20 percent of the time.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The Sacramento Police Department says there have been at least three people recovered from local waterways this spring. Officers will be on the rivers this weekend to talk safety with boat operators.

Jason Warren is one of the officers in the marine unit.

"You need to make sure you have enough personal flotation devices for every person that's on board and you need to have a throwable cushion and we suggest you keep that by the operator of the boat," Warren says. "That way they can throw it out to somebody if needed , and you need to have a sound device -most boats have horns or you can have a whistle."

Warren says boaters should also carry a fire extinguisher and a sober driver.
 
Anthony Chavez has been bringing his boat to the Sacramento River for the last 12 years.

"It does not go on the water until my boat mechanic says it's okay. The worst thing you can do is bring a boat here unprepared. The river is very unforgiving," Chavez says. "There's tides, there's currents. You get stuck out here, your battery goes dead or something, you're in a world of hurt.

The U.S. Coast Guard says there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents and 626 deaths nationwide last year.