The weather this weekend might have tempted you to hit the water, but the State Parks Department and the U.S. Coast Guard remind boaters to put safety first.
Until May 1, anyone on board a vessel longer than 21 feet must wear a life jacket.
This year's especially cold winter means water temperatures are still pretty low, which increases the risk of drowning.
The Coast Guard estimates up to 80 percent of boating deaths may have been prevented by proper use of a life jacket.
Also starting this year, all operators under the age of 18 must obtain a Safe Boating Certificate by passing an 8-hour course. It's offered by the State Parks and the Coast Guard.
For more information about boating safety, visit www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating.