New law impacts boat operators on Mississippi River

Local News

Boat operators on Iowa’s six federal waterways — including the Mississippi River — are now required to wear an engine cut-off cord.

It’s required only if a boat has one installed.

Iowa DNR officials say the new law, which took effect on April 1, can prevent a common and potentially deadly situation by cutting off the engine if falling overboard.

“The boat continues to turn in a circle, and it’s actually called the ‘circle of death,’ so you have passengers and operators in the water, and you have a boat that is in continual motion of turning in a circle and a circle,” said Iowa DNR boating law administrator Susan Stocker.

The engine cut-off cord is red and clips onto the life vest.

Illinois already requires boaters to wear the cut-off cord.

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