MCSO Lake Patrol busy on area waterways

Not everybody spent their last day of the long weekend in the car, plenty of people were out enjoying themselves on area lakes.

- Not everybody spent their last day of the long weekend in the car, plenty of people were out enjoying themselves on area lakes.

But they weren't alone, Valley law enforcement kept an eye on boaters.

FOX 10 rode along with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Lake Patrol at Lake Pleasant.

Today MCSO had about 8 to 10 deputies patrolling the Lake at any time. Several boaters were missing basic boating safety equipment, like a throwable life preserver or full fire extinguisher; tools that could mean the difference between a fun day on the water and tragedy.

"They just don't understand what a boat can do, and they get on those throttles, and they push it to the limit," said Deputy Amanda Hughes.

Deputy Amanda Hughes and her partner Deputy Hess allowed FOX 10 onboard for their patrol ride. Just minutes in, they stopped a boat to make sure all children were safely seated inside.

"All the children who are 12 and under are obviously wearing life vests," said Hughes.

Hughes conducted a Coast Guard Safety Check, and this boat was found to be missing its throwable life preserver.

"We do have an extra one if you'd like to keep it on your boat because you have to have it, you can have it," she said.

Back on patrol the deputies headed to a wake zone, where violations are frequent, and it's not long before someone else gets stopped.

"When you were coming in your bow was up a little bit, and you had white water all around your boat, so that means you're going too fast," said Hughes.

A safety check revealed an empty fire extinguisher and just like the last boat there was no throwable life preserver. The Deputy smelled alcohol on the driver's breath and brought him onboard the Sheriff's Office boat for testing.

After testing the boater was below the legal limit and he went home with a safety check and a citation for the speeding.

As some boaters continue to enjoy the lake tonight, MCSO wants to remind families that all kids 12 and under must wear lifejackets at all times. Every clip and zipper must be closed, or your child could slip right out of that vest when he/she hits the water.


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