Ahoy Matey! Boat Registrations Jump

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Connecticut waters should be carrying a bunch more boaters this summer.

Boat registrations have jumped from about 100,000 last year to over 112,000 so far this year, according to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Officials say lower gas prices are a big reason.

The state is reminding boaters they must obtain a Boating Safety Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation. It's also launching a new boater-safety program this week to get more people to wear life jackets.

The classes are 10-hours long.  Most run for two weeks, two nights per week and qualify a person for the Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.

And the DEP warns boaters that even in warm weather, Connecticut water temperatures are still cold enough now to quickly cause hypothermia.

You should see more people at local parks too.

State leaders said this could be a record year for overall visits to the 44 major state parks and dozen state forests.

"Given the fact that times are tough, more people are likely looking for low-cost convenient ways to have fun with their family, and we are certainly poised to have a big year," Dennis Schain, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said. 

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