HAMILTON, Ind. (WANE)- Many boaters have waited the long winter months for the first holiday weekend of the summer. But before you head out to the lakes, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants boaters to have and fun and safe weekend.

Conservation officers want boaters and people on the lake to take note of:

  • Having your boat legally registered, officers will be checking for licenses,
  • A wearable Coast Guard approved life-vest, for each person on the boat.
  • During operating legal hours of sunset and sunrise, have operational lights.
  • A 10-mile-per-hour speed limit during sunset and sunrise.

Conservation officer Sgt. Patrick Heidenreich explained the rules of alcohol on the lakes.

“Avoid alcohol, if you are going to have alcohol on a boat, we know it’s going to be present, people like to go out on the lake and have a good time, we want people to come out and enjoy these lakes,” said Sgt. Heidenreich. “But enjoy them responsibly. If you are going to drink alcohol have a designated operator, just like you would have a designated driver on the roadway have a designated driver on the boat,” Sgt. Heidenreich explained.

Sgt. Heidenreich explained the importance of the safety lanyard that many boaters are not aware of.

To use the safety lanyard, wrap it around the front of your life-vest, and secure it with the clip at the end of the lanyard. If you were to be ejected from the boat, the end of the lanyard connected to the boat would disconnect and kill the engine.

“As opposed to the boat being an unguided missal, going across the lake and striking whatever maybe in its path. It’s not required to be worn on motorboats although it is a very good idea, to do so,” explained Sgt. Heidenreich. “It is required to worn on any personal moto craft, we can’t stress the importance that it is a safety feature, that was built in and if you do not use it, it will not be effective, we would like to see everyone wear those, it’s really no inconvenience to wear it but it could save your life,” said Sgt. Heidenreich.

Boating fines can be up to $500.