Extra Boaters, Extra Danger
With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, the water patrol will have to work non-stop both the weekend before and after. They will, however, have ten days of help from the Coast Guard.
"It gets a little rambunctious and people don't always listen, but we're not trying to ruin anybody's weekend," said Federal Coast Gaurd officer Kyle Retzlaff.
The Guard will have two patrol boats and share the same goal as the state officers.
"Anytime you can increase visibility of law enforcement on the water you can increase safety," said Public Information Director Lt. Nick Humphrey. "That's the Water Patrol's mission, and I know that is the Coast Guard's mission as well."
The officers stress it's up to the boaters to make the right decisions. With alcohol playing a role in all seven lake deaths this year, it's clear that drinking and boating don't go together.
"The first thing to go is your judgment when you start drinking," said Water Patrol Officer Dan Bartlett. "You think you can swim farther or go down deeper than you actually can. That's when you fall into trouble."
The coast guard officers start their patrols Saturday morning.
Select a station to view its upcoming schedule: