DEM citing boaters, reminding people to check safety gear before hitting the water

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

WICKFORD, RI –  The Department of Environmental Management was on the water and on the lookout, Friday, for boaters violating safety protocols and regulations.

ABC6 hopped aboard for a ride with DEM Police as they gave written warnings and citations ahead of what is forecasted to be a beautiful, but busy weekend for boaters.

"This time of year a lot of people get anxious to get out on the water,” said RI Environmental Police Officer, Kyle Murray.

Within a few hours, the DEM and ABC6 stopped a number of offenders missing required gear.

"Out of the 6 boats we had, there was only one that was 100% compliant and had all of the necessary gear,” said RI Environmental Police Officer, Anthony Esposito, at the end of the ride-along.

DEM Officers said they intend to be looking for a number of items aboard each boat throughout the summer.  Some of those include visual distress signals, a whistle or sound-producing device and a fire extinguisher.  At the top of the list are life jackets.

"The number one thing would be wearable life vests for everyone on board,” said Officer Esposito.

For those enjoying a cold drink, DEM is reminding folks that the rules of the road still apply; Drive sober or get pulled over.

"Big thing in the summer is boating under the influence. Just be mindful, have a sober operator on the boat,” said Murray.

For a full list of rules and regulations, click here:  http://www.dem.ri.gov/pubs/regs/regs/enforce/boats98.pdf