RALEIGH — Since boating season started to ramp up in April, 11 boaters have died from drowning across the state. None of the victims were wearing a life jacket.
“Anyone who is in or near water should wear a life jacket,” said Maj. Chris Huebner of the Wildlife Resources Commission. “It’s a simple thing to do and it can absolutely mean the difference between life and death.”
North Carolina requires anyone younger than 13 to wear an appropriate life vest when on a recreational vessel. Anyone riding a personal watercraft or being towed by one must also wear an appropriate life vest.
Both North Carolina and federal regulations state that a personal floatation device in good condition and of appropriate size should be accessible for each person onboard a recreational vehicle.
“It’s important to put on your life jacket before you enter the water,” said Huebner. “In dire situations, there often isn’t time to grab a life vest and put it on properly. It can it save your life and can help you assist others who may be in danger.”
For more information on safe recreational boating or to enroll in a free boating education course by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating.aspx or call 919-707-0030.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering two free fishing workshops in August at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville.
— Basic Rod Building Workshop
On Aug. 13, a Basic Rod-Building Workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This workshop will cover the basic techniques for building a 6-foot, medium-action spinning rod. All tools and supplies will be provided. Due to space constraints, the workshop is limited to 15 participants age 16 and older.
— Soft Plastic Lure-Making Workshop
On Aug. 17, a Soft Plastic Lure-Making Workshop will be held for participants ages 8 and older from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The workshop will cover the fundamentals of creating artificial worms, lizards, crayfish and other soft plastic baits. Participants will create multiple lures to take home.
Pre-registration online is required for both workshops. Check-in for both workshops begins 30 minutes prior to the start of the program. For more information about the workshops, contact Carpenter at 910-868-5003 or Thomas.email@example.com.
The John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center is located at 7489 Raeford Road, across from Lake Rim. Wildlife Commission staff at the Pechmann Center conducts fishing workshops, events and clinics throughout the year. Most programs are free and open to the public. For more information about the center, or to see a schedule of upcoming events, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/learning/learning. For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.