DNR Patrols for the Holiday Weekend

By Melissa Crash

Published 07/04 2014 03:50PM

Updated 07/04 2014 06:50PM

Many boaters were out and geared up to celebrate the holiday today on the water throughout the valley, but the DNR's main concern was if the folks relaxing, were doing it safely and legally.

DNR officials were there to make sure people were looking out for themselves, and others.

Families filled the beach at Cataract Lake for the holiday weekend, but busy times like the Fourth of July, also bring more chances for accidents to occur.

DNR was on the scene patrolling, making sure safety was a top priority.

Chris Springstun, a Conservation Officer said, "We're just out looking for obvious safety violations, just making sure people are staying safe, making sure people aren't drinking too much alcohol and just overall we want people to have a good time but we want them to be safe at the same time."

After a long day of boating and the sun begins to set, more instances of alcohol related issues on the water arise. Officials say if you see anything worth reporting, to call for help.

"It's just like driving on the road, I mean being on the water you add a lot of extra elements to make it even more dangerous than being on the road sometimes, so just call 911 and we'll have an officer there to respond to that," said Springstun.

Randy Byers and his family visits Cataract Lake frequently. Byers says making sure you know the rules, can save you a lot of trouble with the law.

"Limit your alcohol, you know, because you can get a DUI out here on a boat just like you can in an automobile, so people need to be aware of that and if they just use common sense I think everybody would be okay," said Byers.

But DUI's aren't the only thing that can happen when you're dealing with unsafe boating.

"When we have issues with drownings and things like that it's on the busier holiday weekends, especially when it's really hot outside," said Springstun.

Speak up if you see anything strange on the water, because you could be saving your life, and someone else's.

"It's hard to tell if someone is crazy on a boat or not but if it was really crazy I would probably have to say something," said Byers.

Drinking and boating is a major concern as summer continues.

The combination of sun and heat, and not to mention the atmosphere of the boat makes one beer, the equivalent of three on land.

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