Law enforcement reminds boaters to stay safe this Memorial Day
Law enforcement agencies will be on high alert this Memorial Day weekend.
One place where they will be monitoring is on the water. In 2017, the Coast Guard reported more than 4000 recreational boating accidents. That's why the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office wanted to create awareness about boater safety ahead of the holiday.
Sheriff Jim Hammond first took a moment to reflect on an event at Chester Frost park years ago. He told the story about a case that happened a month after he was elected as sheriff. That day his deputies had to bring in two young men who drowned in the river.
“They were out in the boat partying and drinking alcohol,” said Jim Hammond. “That's when they wanted to see who could swim the fastest to the shore. Neither one of them made it.”
Driving a boat while under the influence could be a $2,500 fine for the first offense, and the punishment increases from there.
Sergeant Matthew Purvis says the Marine Patrol division will make sure everyone has the required items they need to stay safe, like a life jacket.
“The fire extinguisher, a throwable (life preserver), and please make certain that the PFD that is used is appropriate for this size person,” said Matthew Purvis.
Purvis says another major issue is with the jet skis. In 2017, nearly 500 accidents happened because of an improper lookout.
“If you are towing a skier, and you are the operator you either don't have mirrors, or you don't have someone looking out for the skier,” said Purvis.
Regena Young with Erlanger says overall the number of traumas related to water is low.
She still encourages everyone to use caution, even when using a pool.
“Make sure that it is fenced in. Anytime you are using it make sure you have supervision,” said Regena Young. “For children, you want to make sure they know how to swim and have swim lessons.”
More information can be found here.