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Labor Day Travel and Boating Safety Tips

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Clarkson, KY (WNKY-TV) - Labor Day. It's the unofficial end to summer and for many, the long weekend takes them to the road and to the water. But, with two drownings at area bodies of water this past weekend, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers warn water-goers to take extra precautions.

"Even if you're swimming wear your life jacket. Life jackets save lives," says Joe Mills a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer.

It's Kentucky law to have a life-vest for each passenger, as well as a fire extinguisher and a whistle in the boat.

"And have it available to the passengers in the boat. It does little good to have them stored away where the passengers can't get access to them," says Officer Mills.

And it's best for those life-jackets to be the right size and in tip-top shape.

"Make sure that all the buckles and all the straps are in place and make sure it's not ripped or torn in any way," he continues.

If you're under the age of 12, it's Kentucky Law that a life-vest has to be worn at all times. Another thing, if your boat is over 16 feet, you need one other type of personal flotation device on board.

"You're required to have a type four PFD which is a device that is designed to be thrown to someone in the water," says Officer Mills.

Before you go popping bottles on your party barge, keep in mind drinking and boating rules are the same as drinking and driving.

"It is illegal and we have zero tolerance," Mills continues.

And if you're boating into the night, make sure to have your lights on.

"Between sunset and sunrise you have to display your proper navigation lights," says Mills.

Whether you're hitting the road or relaxing on the lake, officers have the same words of travel advice.

"Just be mindful of other boats, keep a good look out and try to stay to the right of mid-channel," says Officer Mills.

"Leave plenty of distance between you and the other cars and just be courteous," says Trooper B. J. Eaton with the Kentucky State Police.

Officials say if you abide by these rules, it'll be smooth sailing into fall for you and the family. 

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