September 3, 2014 Share

New mobile app for boater safety information released

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ new Boat Sober mobile app for smart phones and tablets informs boaters about boating under the influence and overall boating safety. Boaters planning to enjoy the upcoming Labor Day weekend can download the app now.

“It is an awareness campaign of boating under the influence with other boater education components,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of law enforcement for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We feel that this app is just one additional tool we can provide to help keep our Kentucky waterways a safe and enjoyable destination for everyone to visit.”

Carrier explained that operating a boat after consuming alcohol is more dangerous than operating a motor vehicle on the highway. “There are no lines on the water to help keep you on course; the boat has no brakes and there is no speed limit on the water,” he said. “Throw alcohol consumption into the mix and it is truly a recipe for disaster.”

The Boat Sober app has a blood alcohol estimator and a button in the shape of a badge to report a reckless boat operator to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife law enforcement. “It also has a feature called impairment goggles,” Carrier said. “It gives you an idea of how alcohol consumption impacts your vision.”

The app also has a “Find a Marina” button allowing users to find the nearest marina, links to boater education regulations and course schedules for boater safety classes.

“All boat operators from 12 to 17 years of age must have a Kentucky Safe Boating Certificate to operate a boat over 10 horsepower,” Carrier said. “We recommend adults who operate boats to take the course as well.”

Boaters can also quickly view the boating safety equipment checklist, the “Don’t Drink and Drown” button that contains a description of all boating under the influence laws and penalties plus links to paddle sports education sites. The app also has a direct link to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

“We want to create a link between Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and the boaters in our state,” Carrier said. “This app will also give us the ability to send push notifications to keep boaters informed when something significant arises.”

The app is free for download. Users of Android systems can download the app from Google Play and those with Apple iOS systems can download this app from the Apple Store.