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Officials Caution Californians About ‘Drinking and Boating’

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Aired 4/19/09

The Memorial Day weekend is not only big for road warriors: it was also a kick off to the boating season. And after seeing some disturbing trends in accident statistics, state officials are urging extra caution on the water.  From Sacramento Jenny O'Mara reports.

From April to October, the State Department of Boating and Waterways has its media campaigns in high gear. It tracks boating accidents in waterways around the state.  Phaedra Bota with the department says a major part of their campaign is to get people to wear life jackets.  She says a growing trend they're watching is drinking and boating.
Phaedra Bota : Oftentimes the person who ends up falling out of the boat is not the operator it's the passengers because they're inebriated and they can't keep their balance and they go overboard without a life jacket and get  into trouble.
The department reports holiday weekends are a particularly dangerous time: more than twenty percent of boating accidents and fifteen percent of boating fatalities took place during the three major summer holidays last year.

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