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* BOATING RULES & LAW— Indiana Boating Law

* DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. DUI's in Indiana are the same on the lake as on the highway. THE ESSENTIALS— Make sure
  everyone has a PFD (Life Vest), knows how to wear it and has easy access to it.

* Check your battery and cables; check your lights and horn to make sure they work. Carry a working spotlight or flashlight. 
  Always carry a serviceable fire extinguisher on board.

* Check your fuel situation and make sure you have enough for your activity.

* Make sure you have a VHF radio and that at least TWO members of the crew know how to use it. (In an emergency, the 
  Captain may be very busy or worse, unconscious). If the VHF is portable, check the batteries, carry spares and transmit
  sparingly. A cell phone is handy but should not be relied on for primary communications.

* Make sure that you have a working bilge pump or at least a bailing bucket.

* Check the weather forecast and keep an eye on the weather. Use your weather radio or tune your AM/FM to local stations a
  couple of times a day for updates.

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* If you are unfamiliar with the area where you will be boating, ask for suggestions and/or carry a good map. Be aware of landmarks so you can find your way back.

* Carry a list of VHF channels (and phone numbers) for each Marina and phone numbers of local law enforcement agencies.

* Carry the boat registration papers, some cash, credit cards and a form of ID.

* If the crew will be drinking, insist on a Designated Driver.

* Lastly, tell someone (family member, neighbor, etc) where you intend to go and when you expect to return. What are they to do if they don't hear from you in 24 hours, etc.? GOOD TO HAVE— An anchor and at least 50 ft of good line are not essential but, if your motor dies, it might keep you from drifting onto the rocks.

* Depth meters, GPS and Radar all add a measure of safety --IF they work and IF you know how to use them. Nothing however, beats a good set of eyes & ears to avoid danger.

* Carry a well-stocked Marine First Aid Kit and learn the basics of First Aid and CPR. A life may depend on it.

* If possible, carry a spare propeller and nut, a spare impeller and basic tools to install them.

* Carrying a long (12ft) set of jumper cables and a stout length of towrope are good insurance.

* If you will be out all day, carry plenty of drinking water in addition to beverages to avoid dehydration. If the boat does not have a roof, a top or a bimini, bring hats and lots of sunscreen.

* Towels, ponchos and blankets are important if you are in a storm or out after sunset.