What to know ahead of summer 2014

OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) – Come this Memorial Day weekend – as the centennial celebration of our state parks swings into full gear – police want to remind recreational boaters of the usual company they’ll have on the waters this summer.

“Last year, I believe we had 15 BUI arrests in the state,” said Capt. Ryan Healy of the State Environmental Conservation Police.

Then there are other safety precautions one should know at sea – before something has the chance to go awry.

“Emergency is not the time to start reading the instructions on these,” said state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner Rob Klee, referring to life vests, “You should practice.”

William Sapone thought he was prepared last month when he was knocked from his boat into frigid waters. But he never checked his inflatable life vest and when he needed it, it didn’t work.

“I locked my arm into the safety netting that was on the boat and passed out,” Sapone said. Luckily, a neighbor spotted his boat and Sapone was eventually pulled to safety.

The state also wants to remind boaters to help stop the spread of invasive species.

“Clean, drain, and dry,” said boating director Eleanor Mariani, adding that boaters need to pump out their boats to keep rivers and lakes clean.

A $67 sticker will get you into every state park all summer plus there’s a special free state parks weekend July 26 and 27.

And then there’s good news for anglers.

“We expect an especially good season for black sea bass,” said David Simpson, director of marine fisheries.

Tina Detelj reporting

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