Officials Urge Safe Boating In Bucks County, Rest Of PA

Boating season has arrived in the area.

A dragon boat travels the Delaware River last year.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

As summer boating season approaches, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is teaming up with the National Safe Boating Council to highlight safe boating

“All across Pennsylvania, excitement is building for the unofficial start to the summer boating season,” said Paul Littman, director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Bureau of Boating. “Whether you plan to go paddling, waterskiing, fishing, or just relaxing on a pontoon boat, National Safe Boating Week is a reminder that every boating adventure should begin with a few safety steps to keep you out of trouble so you can focus on having fun.”

For Littman, the thrill of the season brings a crucial message: safety first. He and his team are emphasizing a checklist of basic safety guidelines that every boater should follow before setting sail.

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Never boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Have a float plan to let someone know when and where you will be boating
  • Check the weather forecast for storms and high water conditions
  • Take a boating safety course
  • Have proper registrations or launch permits for your boat

As families and friends gather to enjoy lakes and rivers, Littman underscored the importance of understanding the state’s boating laws.

The legal limit for operating any watercraft is a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, and the penalties for boating under the influence mirror those for driving a motor vehicle while impaired.

A Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officer gets his patrol boat in the water in 2022.
Credit: PA Internet News Service

Throughout the boating season, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission conservation officers will be patrolling waterways to ensure compliance and keep boaters safe, officials said.

In 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,040 recreational boating accidents, resulting in 636 deaths, 2,222 injuries, and approximately $63 million in property damage. Notably, where the cause of death was known, 75 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Among those drowning victims, 85 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Additionally, alcohol use remains the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

For more information on safe boating, to take a safe boating course, and to purchase launch permits, boat registration renewals, and fishing licenses, visit

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