Alcohol Use a Leading Factor in Boating Fatalities

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HARVEYS LAKE, LUZERNE COUNTY – The warm weather drew dozens of people out to Harveys Lake on Independence Day.

“We’re going to do a little fishing, tubing,” said Dewey Masenagimar.

The holiday fun was only just beginning as we arrived around noon Monday. But while many came out to escape everyday life, safety is always a big concern.

According to the US coast guard, there were 122 boating deaths in the country where alcohol was a contributing factor in 2015. In Pennsylvania, there was only one death, compared to six fatalities in 2014. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

Officials say the effects of alcohol are exaggerated when you’re out in the sun and on the water. It’s best to leave the alcohol on shore and always have life jackets available.”

Those are rules Danny Maurizi says he adheres to. He gave us a ride around Harveys Lake.  He warns it’s also important to stay alert and follow the rules of the Fish and Boat Commission.

“Basically the way you go around the lake. There is one way going around and mainly watch your no wake zones. That’s what those buoys are for and you just have to watch the rocks,” said Maurizi.

Some boaters say they also take boating safety courses, in order to avoid a tragedy.

For information on boat regulations and rules, head to http://www.fish.state.pa.us/.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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