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FDL Sheriff's Department on Boater Safety


As pleasant spring weather continues and we eventually transition into summer, people all across the state will be looking to get out onto lakes and rivers on their boats. Law enforcement agencies, including the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, are reminding people about staying safe while out on the water. “Our big goal is the safety factor,” Lieutenant Chris Dobyns said. “We want people to be out there and enjoy the water, and we want people to know what they can and can’t do on the water so it’s enjoyable for other people.” Dobyns says just like driving – boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. “So, it’s illegal for someone to operate a motorboat or use water skis, a surfboard, or other devices if he or she is under the influence of an intoxicant or a controlled substance and has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.” He adds that there were 21 boating fatalities in 2018 – and alcohol was present in about 1/3 of those deaths.


The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department is offering a boater safety course in June. Anyone born on or after January 1st, 1989 is required to complete a boating safety course to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft in Wisconsin. The course will be held at the City/County Government Center on June 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th from 6:30 until 8:30 pm each night. Cost is $10, cash only, and space is limited. Pre-registration is required for the course – to do that, email Sergeant Paul Metzger at paul.metzger@fdlco.wi.gov.

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