(WTOL) - With summer just about gone, many boaters are trying to extend the season as long as possible. But there's a particular danger this time of year.
Retired Sgt. Richard Murphy, News 11 crime expert says: "Boating in the dark, it's not a good idea. Don't do it!"
Sgt. Murphy speaks from personal experience and says the darkness can really sneak up on you.
"I have done it. I've boated for years and it's scary out there at dark-time. Your attention has to be on the water at all times."
As dangerous as late season boating can be under the best of circumstances, imagine how much worse it is if you throw in alcohol.
"If you've had a drink or two, it's going to impair your ability to keep on course and get back to that dock safely. Navigation buoys, foreign objects in the water, other boaters out there that may have been drinking also are always out there."
The accident rate is much higher when boating after dark, and in some places boating laws differ between day and night boating.
Bottom line? "Boat, but do it safely. Get back to your dock before dark."