When more than 250 sail boats and power boats go on display for the Second Annual Canalside Auto & Boat Show, safety is sure to be on the minds of every boater, and law enforcement agency in attendance.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, each year hundreds of lives are lost and thousands are injured on U.S. waterways.
Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, six people were rescued after the boat they were in hit a the break wall in the outer harbor. The driver now faces charges of boating while intoxicated.
The crash happened in the outer harbor channel near the old Pier Restaurant site off Furhmann Boulevard.
After the rescue, 21-year-old Cody Pudlewski of Angola was evaluated by deputies. They determined he was impaired. Officers say Pudlewski could face more charges.
Although the accident remains under investigation, it serves as a reminder to follow safe boating practices.
The U.S. Coast Guard advises each passenger wear a life jacket the entire time the passenger is on the boat.
It is also recommend to be aware that boating under the influence is just as deadly as drinking and driving. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state.
Lastly, the U.S. Coast Guard recommends being aware of the propeller at all times. Wear an engine cut-off switch with a life jacket at all time. If this lanyard is removed, the engine will cut off.