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FWP reminds boaters of hazardous river conditions

Recreation News - Region 7

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds boaters to use caution everywhere they recreate. Boating, while enjoyable, is inherently dangerous. Boaters and other people who recreate on Montana’s waterbodies do so at their own risk.
Historically, boating accidents are not uncommon in Montana. Between 1998 and 2018, 134 people died in boating accidents in the state. Of those fatalities, 71 occurred on a river. And in 73 percent of Montana’s drowning deaths, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Here are several recommended precautions boaters can take to avoid accidents and injury:
• Always wear a life jacket. Make sure the type of life jacket is appropriate for the activity. Montana law requires that children under age 12 wear a life jacket when they are in any boat shorter than 26 feet.
• Avoid downed trees and other visible hazards in the water. Practice situational awareness and know that dangerous conditions can appear and evolve without warning.
• Abide by Montana’s boating regulations. A copy of these regulations can be found online at fwp.mt.gov or at any FWP regional office.
• Follow vessel safety checklists provided by FWP and the U.S. Coast Guard, including an inventory of necessary rescue equipment. These checklists can be found online at fwp.mt.gov/recreation/safety/boating.
• Consult the U.S. Geological Survey for daily streamflow conditions. Avoid recreating on rivers during high flows.