Illinois DNR: Bring a cell phone with you out on the water

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding people how to stay safe on the river during the Memorial Day Weekend, from Friday, May 23, 2014 to Monday, May 26, 2014.

Boaters were out on the Mississippi River at Sunset Marina Friday morning. Illinois DNR workers say that the Mississippi is still filled with lots of debris. They say Memorial Day Weekend is not the time to go into parts of the water that you haven't been to before. Illinois DNR Officer Laura Petreikis also says that boaters should bring fully-charged cell phones with them, just in case a person gets stranded.

"The water's going to carry you downstream, so start thinking," Petreikis said. "Not only are you going to have a boat motor that isn't starting, but you also may have some sort of mechanical issue."

Friday was the last day for National Safe Boating Week. Petreikis says that life jackets should be in an accessible place at all times, not stowed away or put in zipped bags.

On Tuesday May 6, 2014, the boat that Colona resident Charles Slocum was in, broke apart and went over rollers at Lock and Dam 14 near Hampton, Illinois. Four passengers were rescued, but Rock Island County crews found Slocum's body on Friday, May 16, 2014 near Sunset Marina.

To see a list of the river levels in the Quad City area, click here.

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