Source: CVDaily Feed

Utah is the second driest state in the nation but there is approximately 1.9 million acres of water to access and boating is extremly popular in the state.

The tragic boating incident Monday at Bear Lake, where four people died, has reminded the public that boating can be dangerous as well. Ty Hunter, manager of the boat safety program for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, was a guest Thursday on KVNU’s For the People program.

He said one problem is that boaters are often in vacation mode and too often aren’t thinking about the ramifications if they should do something wrong.

Hunter said most of the boating rules are simple, such as aways keep to the right and if two boats cross paths heading in the same direction, the one on the right has the right-of-way.

“The other one out there is there is a law out there called Speed in Proximity,” Hunter explained. “This one is the one that usually results in an accident if it is not adhered to.

“If you are going above a wakeless speed you need to stay 150 feet, or 50 yards, away from another vessel when you’re doing that. That is a vessel, it could be a fisherman on shore, people on shore, swimmers on shore, you just need to keep that distance away from folks. That 150 feet gives you that opportunity to react and steer away from a possible deadly situation.”

Hunter said if you are going out on a craft or even on the beach the most important thing to do is get a life jacket, one that is comfortable and fits you correctly. It should always have the Coast Guard approval on it. He said there are also boater safety courses and those not required for credit are available for free.