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Boater Safety Requirements Proposed


A proposed bill would try to make Wisconsin's waterways a little safer in the future.

The bill would require everyone born after 1989 to take a boater safety course before starting up his or her motor or getting on a Jet Ski.

Under current law, after you turn 16 you don't need to be properly trained to operate a watercraft.

With more than a million boats out there, the DNR says our lakes and rivers are getting crowded, and increasingly dangerous. Twenty people died in boating accidents last year, and five have already died this year.

Rep. J.A. Hines (R-Oxford) says, "This is wrong. We already know that most boating accidents that occur are a result of a lack of knowledge of safe boating practices."

Hines says a lot of the emotional support for the bill comes from the Heiser family. Thirty-one-year-old Brian Heiser was killed in 2003 when he was hit by a Jet Ski while tubing. The operator of the Jet Ski had no experience and no safety training.

Thirty-two other states have similar laws on the books.


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