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MADISON — Wisconsinites are encouraged by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use and ride recreational vehicles like boats and ATVs safely and sober throughout the remainder of summer.

This year in Wisconsin, nine boating fatalities and 17 fatal ATV/UTV-related deaths have occurred. Of those, five of the boating-related deaths occurred in July.

According to the reports, none of the incidents occurred in Racine or Kenosha County, but nonetheless, awareness is valuable and education is important for all Wisconsinites.

DNR law enforcement officials say the message is simple: always ride sober, and always wear a helmet or life jacket.

Plaanning to ride this summer? Take this information into consideration to enjoy life on the trails or on the water.

Boating/water safety tips

When boating, the DNR reminds people to always take the following tips into consideration:

  • Always wear a properly-fitted life jacket with a snug fit and fastened when you’re on or near the water. Life jackets will keep you on top of the water if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, if a wave or current overpowers you, or if you fall out of a boat.
  • River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can tax an individual’s boating, paddling and swimming skills.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and let someone know where you are going.
boater safety

ATV/UTV Safety Tips

According to the DNR, while out riding ATVs/UTVs, always take the following tips into consideration:

  • Always wear a helmet, seatbelt and protective clothing when riding.
  • Stop at every stop sign.
  • Look ahead for curves and trail hazards.
  • Stay to the right and use caution around curves.

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