Illinois rule means family can only legally be in their boat when it’s in their garage

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People longing for the outdoors are outraged at an Illinois boating rule.

 “My family, who I live with every day, can’t be on my boat with me in Illinois,” said Mike Scaturro.

As an example, he gathered his family together on the boat as it was parked in their Granite City garage. He said, “I can’t sit outside in it, so I’ve got to sit inside in it.”

“So if you take it outside your garage you’d be breaking the rule.” Scaturro said, “Right I mean you can see social distancing is possible in the boat, not that I need to do that with my children and my wife,” said Chris Hayes, Fox 2 reporter.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Saturday – “It is restricted to two people on a boat. You can’t have five people or ten people in a boat – and that – it is restricted to two but not necessarily restricted to whether they’re related to one another.” Someone asked, “So if there is a family of four or five, a husband and wife and kids, they’re going to have to pick two of them at a time.” The Governor answered, “They would yeah.”

“By his analogy, I have to take my boat in the lake and go pick one of them up at the dock and take them to the beach – and then get another one and take them to the beach, because he didn’t say there couldn’t be 100 people on the beach. He just said there couldn’t be two people on the boat,” said Scaturro.

Scaturro says it doesn’t seem to matter that he has a 30-foot boat. Two people on his wave runner is apparently the same as two people on his boat.

Boaters are talking about their confusion online. Granite City’s Monty Osborn didn’t believe it until he read the rule himself.

“It really didn’t make sense to me if you had two people per boat, if you had a family involved, you all live in the same house anyway,” said Monty Osborn.

“The Governor needs to put in perspective what he’s doing. I can see where he can say, ok, Lake Michigan where all this is a big deal up here – we’re not going to allow you to have big parties on your yachts, but to say hey Mike your boat’s in Carlyle – I know you can’t see another boat readily, but we don’t want you to have more than two people on that boat,” said Scaturro.

For some context, I reached out to someone in New York, who sailed the Long Island Sound yesterday. Richard Gerbasi sent pictures from New York, saying he’s heard of no similar boating restrictions there. He says what he’s seen of the waters so far – it’s one of the best places to social distance.

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