Governor signs boat-safety measure

Effective immediately, all boats must add at least one throwable life preserver to the list of required safety equipment.

Gov. Kenny Guinn on Tuesday signed AB112 which was jointly sponsored by Carson City Republicans Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell and Sen. Mark Amodei. It was requested by DeeDee Petrilena of Carson City after her husband, Vince, drowned while they were vacationing on a rented boat at Lake Mead.

She said he was swimming alongside the boat when the wind came up, moving the craft away. Petrilena testified in hearings on the bill those on board tried throwing a life jacket to him but the wind simply blew it away.

She said there was no life preserver on board she could throw to him and by the time they could turn the 65-foot boat around it was too late to save him.

Petrilena urged lawmakers to require at least one throwable life preserver on every boat, adding that might have saved her husband's life.

The legislation requires all vessels 16 feet long or more carry at least one Coast Guard approved, throwable flotation device and that boats longer than that carry a throwable life ring with 30 feet of line attached so the ring and any swimmer needing rescue could be retrieved.

Boats larger than 40 feet long would have to have at least two of the devices.

Those requirements are in addition to existing statutes which require all vessels carry at least one life jacket for every person on board.

AB112 specified that the new safety rules take effect immediately so that life preservers are available as the boating season opens.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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