Freedom Boat Club reminds people to stay safe while boating on Memorial Day

PITTSBURGH — With hot temperatures on tap for Memorial Day, many people plan to spend their time on the water.

“Sitting on a boat and relaxing, just riding up and down the river,” said Bob Csaszar of Ross Township.

Gabe Crivellaro, 11, also plans on spending the holiday on a boat.

“It’s just fun and you can see the whole river and just everything from a good view,” Crivellaro said.

Whether you’re enjoying the views on a boat or paddleboard, if you’re on the water, experts are urging people to keep safety top of mind.

Freedom Boat Club Pittsburgh GM Michael Hills said life jackets are strongly recommended, and for kids 12 and younger on a boat, they’re required by law. Additionally, anyone in a kayak, on a paddleboard or on a jet ski is required to wear a life jacket, no matter what age.

Last year, the U.S. Coast Guard said 636 people across the country died from boating accidents.

“Eighty-five percent of the people who drowned in those incidents were not wearing a life jacket,” said Hills. “Wear a life jacket.”

It’s something avid boater and jet skier Bob Csaszar takes seriously — that and taking it slow over the wake, or waves of another boat.

“If you’re in a no-wake zone, don’t hit the throttle,” Csaszar said. “People are in the water; people are floating in the water, and if you hit those wakes, you’re going to take somebody under.”

Water conservation officers will be out on the holiday looking for anyone breaking the law, including those diving a boat under the influence.

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