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PFBC Reminds Boaters to be Safe on July 4th Weekend

HARRISBURG, Pa. (July 1) – With the summer season well underway, July 4 marks a major boating holiday. Boaters will take to the water in a variety of watercraft on one of the busiest boating weekends of the year. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) reminds boaters to have fun and stay safe this Independence Day and throughout the entire boating season.

“According to Pennsylvania’s boating accident reports, almost 80 percent of all boating fatalities happen to boaters not wearing a life jacket,” reports Laurel Anders, PFBC Director of Boating and Outreach. “You may think the unexpected won’t happen to you. Don’t take that chance. Most boating-related deaths are preventable. Wear your life jacket at all times and insist your passengers do, too.”

Many boaters don’t wear life jackets because they claim they can swim, they want to look “cool” or they simply forget to carry them onboard. But the unthinkable can happen.

“We urge you to watch this video of family and friends as they speak about the impact of a double-fatal boat accident,” Anders adds. “Their hope is that their story will make other boaters think twice, boat smarter and prevent another tragic boating accident from occurring.”

Boating Safety Video

For more boating safety videos, visit or

For boaters heading onto waters this season, the PFBC urges the following tips:
•Always wear a life jacket, even when not required. Many models are cool and comfortable for warm weather boating.
•Never boat alone.
•Keep a proper lookout. Always be aware of your surroundings.
•Leave a float plan and know the waters you plan to boat.
•Always check the weather and real-time river forecasts for the potential of hazardous high water.
•Bring a fully-charged cell phone with you in case of emergency.
•Boat smart and take a boating safety education course before you head out.
•Never drink and boat.

“Remember, life jackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on a boat and there’s no excuse not to ‘Wear It, Pennsylvania’”, adds Anders.

To learn more about life jacket wear, visit the PFBC website:
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