Bill Hunt, owner of the Sutton Lake marina, said the number of boaters there ultimately will depend on the weather.
The National Weather Service is predicting a near 50 percent chance of rain on Friday and mostly sunny skies both Saturday and Sunday for Summersville and Sutton.
"We are very fortunate in West Virginia to have beautiful lakes and streams that boaters can utilize," Hunt said. "The water here at Sutton is crystal clear, and we are looking forward to a great boating weekend."
Both Bennett and Hunt said in addition to wearing life jackets, boaters should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while operating motorboats. Hunt said the consequences for boating under the influence are as severe, if not more so, than driving under the influence.
According to boatingunderthe
influence.org, someone operating a boat with a blood-alcohol level of more than .10 percent is 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than someone operating a boat while sober. In fact, BUI is responsible for about 34 percent of fatal boat accidents each year.
It is also important to know that no one born after Dec. 31, 1986, can operate a motorboat in West Virginia unless they have successfully completed the boating safety education class. The DNR was offering classes in preparation for the holiday weekend. Courses can be completed online or at various DNR locations around the state.
The state Department of Commerce provides tips as boaters head for the state's 2,000-plus miles of navigable, fishable streams:
* Inspect your boat for mechanical defects and replace any safety equipment if necessary.
* Make sure you have enough life jackets and that they fit properly and are in good shape and readily available in case of an emergency.
* Make sure a fire extinguisher is onboard and properly charged.
* Make sure all the lights work and the boat is in an overall good condition.
Contact writer John C. Gibb at john.g...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4872.
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