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Central Coast boating experts remind riders about proper safety following deadly crash

After two Ventura women went missing following a boating crash in the Colorado River over the Labor Day weekend, Central Coast experts are reminding others about the best ways to ride safely.

“Children under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket,” explained supervising park ranger at Lopez Lake Matt Mohle. “For those adults on board, there needs to be a life vest on there that fits each adult.”

Officials say passengers in the two boats that sank in the Colorado River after crashing into each other were not wearing life vests.

Mohl said speed also plays a big role in avoiding collisions.

“Boats don’t have breaks. You get them out there and they’re going along, and boats are fast and have a lot of mass.”

It’s important to understand a lake or river’s geography.

“A lake like Lopez, you have a very narrow lake. And you have a lot of blind corners.”

Mohle says they don’t have many of collisions at Lopez Lake, but jet skiers can be especially prone to these type of accidents.

“Sometimes the riders might be coming around the corner too quickly and they might intersect with a boat.”

Mohle explained most boating accidents happen because unlike roads, there are no lines in the water.

“There’s an imaginary line down the middle of the lake. Keep that on your left shoulder, keep the land on your right-hand shoulder,” said Mohle.

Experts also advise lake, river, or ocean goers to visit the Department of Boating and Waterways website for more information on requirements and safety tips.

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