CONTRA COSTA (KCBS) — With the Fourth of July approaching, marine patrol officers in Contra Costa are warning boaters to be extra careful on the Delta.

According to the officers, there have already been some serious accidents on the water that has them concerned about safety.

Veteran Contra Costa Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Officer, Lt. Doug Powell said his division patrols 200 miles of Delta waterway and that “already” the summer boating season has gotten off to a “bad start”.

“Last week we had three accidents and they were pretty serious which required people being life-flighted, a boat was blowing up on water after fueling. Those are simple things that sometimes can be prevented,” he said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

He added that one course of prevention is education, noting that boating safety courses are free right now from the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

“They can get a free at home study course where two people can take the test,” he said.

The Boating and Waterways Dept. reports there were more than 500 boating accidents last year along with 54 fatalities.

Alcohol was a factor in 29 percent of those fatalities.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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