DNR increasing water patrols to keep Hoosier boaters safe

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-  We’re approaching one of the biggest boating weekends of the year.

If you’re out on the water in central Indiana the next few days, you’ll notice an increase in boat patrols.

Officers will be cracking down on boats that do not have the proper number of life jackets on- board.

State law requires a life jacket be on the boat for every passenger on-board.

A disturbing trend officers are noticing more of this summer is boats pulling tubers, skiers, and wakeboarders without a spotter.

Not only is that illegal in Indiana, it’s also extremely dangerous.

“That observer is key to avoiding boat collisions, because if we have the operator continually looking back and seeing if that person is still on the tub or ski they’re not paying attention to where they’re going and other boat traffic around them,” said Officer Brad Robbins with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

So far in 2016, 35 people have drowned in Indiana.

Four of those victims were 18 or younger.

The increased patrols on bodies of water across the state begin Friday, September 2 and run through Labor Day.

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