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RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 13) - Waterfowl hunters who use boats are reminded by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission that basic safety precautions can be a lifesaver.

Capt. Chris Huebner, hunting and boating safety coordinator with the Wildlife Resources Commission, lists the following safety guidelines:

Wear a proper personal flotation device and insist that passengers wear one also.
Be aware that small, flat-bottom vessels are prone to capsizing and swamping.
Keep hunting dogs prone in the center of the boat.
Store equipment properly and keep it evenly distributed.
NEVER move about the boat with a loaded shotgun.
Don't overload the boat, especially with passengers.

A particular danger is posed by hypothermia - the loss of body heat. Exposure to extreme cold, such as being in cold water or wearing wet clothes in cold conditions, can increase the chance of hypothermia.

Capt. Huebner advised wearing proper cold weather clothing, avoiding cotton and relying on wool and synthetic materials.

"Dress in layers, cover head and hands, and avoid over-exertion or fatigue," Huebner said.
 
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