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Think Safety While Boating This Holiday Weekend

JACKSON – Memorial weekend marks the traditional start of summer for most Mississippians. While some areas of the State are still flooded and closed to recreational boating many waterways are open and will be crowded this holiday weekend. Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wants your weekend to be enjoyable and safe. MDWFP North Region Enforcement Administrator, Major Clark McMinn offers a few safety tips to ensure your outing is enjoyable and you return home safe. 

P.F.D. (personal floatation device)

  • a wearable U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD per person onboard
  • persons under 13 must wear PFD when vessel is underway
  • boats over 16’ must also have at least one type IV throwable PFD


  • vessels must have U.S.C.G. approved navigational lights if operated during hours of  darkness

Fire Extinguisher

  • boats with enclosed fuel tanks must have a serviceable fire extinguisher readily accessible

Water Skiing

  • in Mississippi an observer over the age of 10 in addition to the operator must be used when skiing or towing someone on a tube

Reckless Operation

  • no vessel may be operated in a reckless or negligent manner examples: speeding, overloading beyond capacity, under the influence


  • it is illegal to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Boater Education

  • motorboats may not be operated by any person born on or after June 30, 1980 unless they have completed an accepted boater education class

Boating safety information and class schedules may be obtained from the MDWFP website –

Major McMinn added, “MDWFP Conservation Officers will be patrolling Mississippi waterways to assist boaters and to ensure boating safety rules are being followed.”

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