According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), it's fall in the desert and that means Southern Nevada's boaters can currently find some of the best water conditions of the year.
However, before they get underway, in Southern Nevada or anywhere else in the state, boaters need to be aware that two new boating laws went into effect Oct. 1.
Both are intended to save lives.
1. On boats equipped with an engine cutoff lanyard, the operator is now required to wear the lanyard and have it attached to the boat anytime the boat is moving faster than a no-wake speed, roughly five miles per hour.
Boaters will not be required to wear the lanyard when performing docking maneuvers or while trolling for fish as long as they are under the flat wake speed.
"The purpose of the cutoff lanyard is to shut the boat motor off should the vessel's operator fall overboard," said Lieutenant David Pfiffner, a game warden with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).
National and regional enforcement officers have seen many unnecessary injuries and deaths caused by boat operators accidentally falling overboard.
Propeller injuries are a particular danger in falls overboard and many of these injuries can be avoided by wearing the cutoff lanyard.
2. The second law increased the mandatory age for lifejacket wear from under 12 years of age to under 13.
This is a guideline set by the National Transportation Safety Board, and many states already have under 13 as their mandatory lifejacket wear cut-off, such as Utah, Arizona and Idaho.
If you have any questions or would like information about any or all of Nevada's boating laws, visit NDOW on the web at www.ndow.org. Remember to boat smart, boat sober, and wear a life jacket. It just makes sense.