Even with the high waters, the 4th of July weekend is still expected to be an active one for boating. The 4th of July is also one of the year’s most dangerous times, and Marion County Sheriff Ron Goematt wants to remind residents and guests that operating a boat and consuming alcohol are not a good combination.
“People boating need to keep in mind that the operator of the boat has to be a sober driver,” said Goematt, “and so just be aware that there will be DNR out on the lake patrolling – so they would want to make sure that they have a designated driver for the boat.”
Sheriff Goematt says the most important message is that everyone be safe and able to enjoy the weekend.
“We just want everyone to keep in mind that river and lake levels right now require that people be extra cautious,” added Goematt. “Also with a long weekend, there are more people out on the lake and the river; so use caution, everyone have an enjoyable time out on the lakes and rivers, but use good judgement.”
Tracy Spry, Park Ranger at Lake Red Rock, adds that life jackets are another vital part of boating safety. Ninety percent of boating fatalities from drowning are from those not wearing a life jacket.