Boaters urged to be cautious this weekend

Local officials are warning people to avoid drinking and driving this holiday weekend. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (July 2, 2013) 

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After a weeklong stretch of scattered rainstorms and occasional flooding, conditions for boaters this holiday weekend could be potentially dangerous, state park officials said Tuesday.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation reminded boaters in a news release to be cautious during the Fourth of July weekend, given the high water levels and fast-moving rivers.

"These conditions may pose unexpected dangers to boaters," the agency's commissioner, Rose Harvey, said in the release. "Before setting out, we urge boaters to make sure they understand the conditions they'll face and avoid bodies of water that may be unsafe.

"Don't let a poorly planned boating trip turn your holiday into a tragedy."

Along with the U.S. Coast Guard, the state agency recommended wearing life jackets, especially when aboard small, manually propelled watercraft, the release said.

Boaters also were advised to properly equip and carry essential safety gear, signaling devices and whistles; always let others know where you're going and when you might return; take a boating safety or paddle sport skills course; and resist mixing alcohol with boating.

For more information on boating safety and marine recreation statewide, visit nysparks.com/recreation/boating.

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