Staying safe on the water this Memorial Weekend

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email
Boat patrol officers plan on enforcing water safety all weekend long to get people ready for the summer season.

11/13: The Jackson County Dive Team on Lake Arbutus in Hatfield

WINONA, MN (WEAU)- A lot of people are going to be out on the water this Memorial Day weekend.

Make sure you’re practicing your water safety if you do, boat patrol officers plan on enforcing water safety all weekend long to get people ready for the summer season.

Boat patrol has already started checking boats to see if they have all the necessities for water safety.

“They went through all the normal checks make sure there’s a throw-able floatation device, life jackets, make sure the boats in good working order,” said Mississippi boater, Erik Zimmerman.

Charles Rolbiecki from the Winona County Sheriffs Department says he plans on patrolling the waters all weekend.

“Were going to have 2 boats out this weekend, said Rolbiecki.

Rolbiecki will be checking for life jackets, floatation devices, and alcohol levels.

Department “Blood alcohol is .08 same as in a boat as in a car,” said Rolbiecki.

Boating safety is more than just wearing a life jacket. You have to make sure your life jacket fits your body type. Boat patrol is going to be pulling over boats for more than just not wearing a life jacket this weekend. They are really trying to enforce boating safety early on.

“This weekend we’ll write a lot of warnings for life jackets and things. Getting people back in the season and warning them what’s going on,” said Rolbiecki.

The Mississippi river has gone down 3 feet from last week and officers say it is safe to swim in but even out of the boat requires awareness.

“If you’re out swimming you should have a life jacket on. There's a current and there’s lots of boats in the water you can hit. It’s not like being in a lake, stuffs floating around and you never know what you might find,” said Rolbiecki.

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