Sheriffs Out To Make Sure Boaters Stay Safe Over The Fourth Of July
The Fourth of July is the peak of traffic for the area lakes and rivers. The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Departments was out in full force over the holiday to make sure boaters stayed safe.
The state of Minnesota has seen nine deaths on the water due to boating incidents already this year. The Fourth of July kicks off the busiest boating weekend of the season, and it will remain consistently busy until Labor Day. The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department knows just how to control the area’s lakes during this time.
“We designate some on the area lakes of Whitefish Chain, and we usually designate one because of the volume and the calls we know we are going to get, and then we always have a few that can respond to different incidents that take place wherever in the county,” Scott Goddard the Crow Wing County Sheriff Captain said.
The department received around 75 boating related calls from either traffic stops or directly from the public.
Crow Wing County officials say that there were no major incidents on the waterways over this Fourth of July holiday; however, they are encouraging boaters to keep those life jackets handy for the remainder of the season.
“The biggest thing we see over and over – and we have already had one drowning related to boating activity this year – is just to wear their life jackets. Be patient, don’t drink and boat, designate someone to be able to operate the craft that has not been drinking,” said Goddard.
Over the Fourth of July this year the calls ranged anywhere from impaired boater to registration violations. The captain thinks the largest problem out on the water is the lack of respect for other boaters.
“The complaints we got a lot this weekend were related to noise with crafts with really big speakers. Music that not everyone loves and people from the shore-line and other people that are boating, so be respectful,” Goddard suggested.
A study suggests that there were nearly 9,000 water-crafts in the water on the Fourth of July weekend in the area, demonstrating how locals and out-of-towners alike enjoy the Brainerd area lakes.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind everyone to stay vigilant and if you see something that looks unsafe, report it.