The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s State Parks Division announces National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, 2020.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), offers these ten tips for practicing social distancing and keeping not only yourself, but other boaters and law enforcement officers, safe and healthy while boating.
1. Do not drink and boat. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in boater deaths. Do not bring or consume alcohol or drugs while on the water.
2. Follow federal, state, and local guidance regarding any boating or access restrictions.
3. Only boat with those in your household and do not go boating if you or someone in your household is
4. Do not raft up. Do not congregate with other boats or boaters.
1220 South St. Francis Drive ▪ Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 Phone (505) 476-3200 ▪ Fax (505) 476-3220 ▪ www.emnrd.state.nm.us
However, COVID-19 is forcing everyone to navigate uncharted waters, including boaters. Many people are
wondering if they can go boating, who they can boat with, and where they can go once they leave the
dock. In several areas, lakes are open, but it is more important than ever that boaters are responsible to
limit unnecessary risk not only to themselves, but to other boaters, law enforcement, and first responders.
Before heading out this spring and summer, check the State Parks website for the most up-to-date
information about park openings, hours, and regulations.
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5. Stay at least six feet away from others. This includes maintaining a safe distance at fuel docks and launch ramps. Wear a cloth face mask in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain or during interaction with law enforcement.
6. Limit contacts. Go from your house to the boat and back, limiting unnecessary contacts.
7. Wear a life jacket. All boaters should be wearing a life jacket while near or on the water, and for the
entire voyage. 84 percent of people who drowned in a recreational boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.
8. Take a Boating Safety Education course. New Mexico offers free boating safety classes throughout the year and offers online boating courses by third-party vendors. Check out BoatNM.com for more information.
9. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. File a float plan and make sure someone knows the details of your trip.
10. Carry all required boating safety equipment and have a method of communication, such as VHF radios and personal locator beacons, that works when wet.
Remember, due to COVID-19 not all parks may be open and additional restrictions are in effect. Visit http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/ before you go.