Stay safe and healthy while boating this summer

It's National Safe Boating week.

5/18/2020 5:01:22 PM

Cheyenne - COVID-19 is forcing everyone to navigate uncharted waters, including boaters. For the annual recognition of National Safe Boating Week, held May 16-22, 2020, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recommends boaters follow local health guidance for outdoor recreation.

“Boating safety has two meanings now,” said Aaron Kerr, Game and Fish watercraft safety program coordinator. “As usual, we want you to wear a life jacket, limit alcohol consumption and stay alert on the water. But, we also want you to practice social distancing and good hygiene for your health and others.”

Game and Fish recommends these ten tips for social distancing and staying healthy when boating:

  1. Boat and fish close to home
  2. Boat with those in your household
  3. Plan ahead by fueling up before leaving and bring food and water from home
  4. Avoid crowding docks
  5. Keep your distance on the water from other boats
  6. Don’t share equipment
  7. Wash or sanitize your hands often
  8. Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  9. Don’t carpool with non-household members
  10. Wear your life jacket and follow all boating regulations

Kerr reminds watercraft users that they must have a life jacket available for each individual on board. Life jackets are required on all watercraft, including paddleboards. 

“Life jackets save lives - U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2018, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets,” Kerr said. 

Children 12 years old and under are required to wear a life jacket while the boat is underway unless they are inside an enclosed cabin. Anyone being towed by a boat or riding on a personal watercraft  —  like a jet ski —  is required to wear a life jacket as well. Life jackets must be properly-sized, U.S. Coast Guard approved and in good condition. 

Watercraft owners read the Wyoming Watercraft Regulations for full safety requirements and licensing and inspection requirements. For more details on National Safe Boating Week, visit:

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

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