MISSOULA – State officials are issuing a holiday weekend reminder to be careful when heading out onto Montana’s lakes and rivers.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks notes that children 12 years or younger may not operate a motorboat or a personal watercraft powered by a motor more than 10 horsepower unless accompanied by someone 18 or older.
Additionally, water skis, tubes, wakeboards and other towed devices are not allowed after sunset and before sunrise and each boat must have an operator and an observer while someone is being towed in the water.
Everyone on board a boat must have a life jacket — something that Community Medical Center Emergency Room Doctor Robert Roeper notes could save your life.
“It’s critically important — especially with all the white water that we have around here. Make sure that you have the appropriate sized life jacket when your in any boat. Whether its a lake or a stream or river, it may save your life,” Dr. Roeper told MTN News.
Anyone caught violating boating laws and regulations could be fined up to $500 and be sentenced up to six months in jail if convicted of the offense.
FWP offers up more water safety advice on its website .