Operation Dry Water is underway to help keep boaters safe

July 01, 2018 11:46 PM

Saratoga Springs-"Ít gets pretty crazy especially if you're going to Sand island or something like that, you could see 50 or 60 boats out there, you've got to worry about your boat" said Steve Woodard of Saratoga Springs. 

New York state park police say as the heat wave continues going into a holiday week they are increasing patrols as part of operation dry water. They say they hope boaters know they're here to help anyone on the water.

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You can't just get a tow truck out on the lake, we we kind of help out, it's just us and the sheriffs office out here" said Officer Ryan Cady of the NYS Park Police.

In 2017 there were more than 80 incidents on the water and they say many of them had to do with two common factors.

The most common issue out here is reckless operator or speed, pwc, boaters, and when we see that it usually pairs with alcohol" said Sgt. Frank McGarity of the NYS Park Police.

Some boaters we spoke to on Saratoga lake say they are happy to see the patrol on the water.

"Its a little bit different from when you see patrol in the streets. They're pretty cool out there, they're not looking to get anyone, they're just looking to make sure that everybody is calm and going smoothly" said Woodard.

NYS Park Police say a few simple things can help keep you safe when you are on a boat:

"State law requires children under the age of 12 to wear a personal flotation device while their on the water craft, complete a boater safety course, properly equip a vessel" said Sgt. McGarity. 

Authorities say it's also important to remember that it is illegal in New York state to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. They say you should always designate a sober driver. Many boaters say following the tips is well worth the reward of being on the water.

"It's amazing, it's hard to describe it, if there's a bad day or anything, just going on the lake it takes any and makes it perfect" said Woodard.


Brooke Selby

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