Conservation officers urge boating safety during Memorial Day weekend

COLUMBUS, Miss (WCBI)- Memorial Day was Monday, and with Lakes back open to the public that means boating season is underway.

Many people on Sunday were out at Lake Columbus, some enjoying the sun, some fishing, and some just having fun.

But for Conservation officers, they are out here making sure that people are complying with the rules.

“Some of the most common incidents that we see out here are people not having enough life jackets for people. That’s number one with us. We look we enforce that pretty heavy where we try to encourage people as a state law that every person in a boat has to have a life jacket children 12 years of age and younger have to have one own while the boat is underway,” said Mccraw

Conservation Officer Marshall Mccraw goes through some of the problems they run into while making sure everybody stays safe while also having fun.

Along with checking for Life jackets, the officers will also perform routine checks to make sure that boaters have the right amount of life jackets, throwables, a fire extinguisher, and their boating license.

Mccraw says they also run into issues pertaining to intoxication as well.

“Some of the incidents that we see the more common type or alcohol-related there’s a no tolerance on the water for drinking on public water. So we enforce that with voting on the influence charges,” said Mccraw.

Officers will also perform sobriety tests to make sure that if you have been drinking that you are not a danger to yourself or others.

Mccraw also said they offer a course on boating safety as well.

“So one thing we do is teach boaters education classes we teach them in person and online and that certifies a person to drive a boat to operate a vessel on public water. And those classes are offered, you know, free in person. And again, they’re on our website,” said Mccraw.

For more information on how to get certified click here.

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