Big Bear Lake, CA, July 2, 2012, noon – The California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) reminds boaters to use caution on the water this Fourth of July. More boating accidents occur during this holiday than any other during the summer boating season. You can greatly decrease the chances of being involved in a boating accident when you follow a few simple rules.

Avoid alcohol. Everyone who drinks alcohol on board is at risk. Passengers can easily fall overboard, swim near the propeller, or cause the vessel to capsize.

Operate your boat at a reasonable speed. Boats do not have brakes. The stopping distance in emergencies can be critical.

Properly use water ski flags when skiers, wake boarders or tubers are down.  Improper use of flags can be dangerous not only to the person in the water, but to the passing boat where its propeller can become entangled in the tow rope and result in a deadly accident.

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