Glenbrook, Nevada (KOLO) – National Safe Boating Week is May 22-28, 2021, and with the hot weekend approaching, Nevada officials want you to be ready when you’re on the water . New federal law will help those on board, especially the driver, free themselves from a potentially fatal accident.
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer.
“We expect this to be a very, very busy sailing season.”
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), more than 41,000 boats are registered in Silver State, with hundreds of thousands of boats on Lake Tahoe each year.
“Especially on a lake like this, boating is one of the best things you can do,” said Aaron Meier, nautical education coordinator at NDOW.
Last month, new federal law came into effect that requires boat operators to wear an engine shutoff switch (ECOS) when navigating federal waters, such as Lake Tahoe or Lake Mead. However, the law isn’t much of a change for Nevada boaters, as the state has made use of the device mandatory since 2007.
Meier added, “Everyone on your boat will be safer, you will be safer, other boats will be safer.”
It is designed to stop the boat engine if the operator is accidentally thrown overboard.
“If you don’t have this engine shut-off device, your boat will still run,” said Meier, “The pressure will turn the engine one way or the other and when that engine is running it will start to run. do what we call the circle of death; it will come back and spin and often crush the operator or anyone who has been thrown into the water.
If you are stopped by NDOW or a water patrol and you are not wearing the device, you will receive a citation.
Meier added: “If your boat is built before a certain time and it is not equipped with this, you are not legally obliged to have it repaired. From this moment, each boat will be equipped with this cut-off device. “
Situations where an ECOS link would not be required include docking, launching and loading onto a trailer, trolling, and operating in no-wake areas.
Currently, Alabama, Illinois, Arkansas, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Texas are the only other states to have already passed the cutoff switch as law for state bodies of water.
Other key ingredients for staying safe on the water include always wearing a life jacket and never drinking or boating.
“We want you to be on the water, but we want you to do it the right way so that everyone can get out of the water and my game wardens don’t have to look for you in the water. .
Whether you’re heading to the lake from Incline Village or South Lake Tahoe, California, this law still applies.
Meier also says that boating lessons are essential to properly recreating. For more information, click here.
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