OHP Increasing Patrol To Keep Boaters Safe Memorial Day Weekend
SKIATOOK, Oklahoma - State troopers are boosting patrols this Memorial Day weekend both on highways and in the water.
If you plan out to be on the water, troopers want to remind you to make safety your number one priority. They’ll be out in full-force this weekend, making sure lake-goers follow the rules and stay safe.
Sergeant Dwight Durant said being a lake trooper is one of the most highly coveted positions within the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
"It's hard to get in, because, typically, one of these guys has to retire for there to be an opening," he said.
But, during times like Memorial Day weekend, it's also one of the busiest.
"They're not shy to pull up and ask to see your life jackets. Make sure nobody's drinking, nobody's intoxicated," Durant said.
He said intoxicated boaters are one of their biggest concerns, especially when they know the lake will be full of people.
"I wouldn't put a number on how many incidents involve alcohol, but, I'd say a majority of them,” Durant said. "We just want to remind people of their personal responsibility when they're out on the water."
And don't think troopers can't tell when you're boating intoxicated.
"Typically, when someone's intoxicated and operating a boat they get careless. They're going too fast, they bust a no-wake zone," Durant said.
He also said troopers will be looking out for people who aren't wearing their life jackets.
"It's just like seat belts and airbags, be sure you put them on," he said. "You need to be responsible for yourself and watch out for other boaters."
If you're out on the lake this weekend and see anything concerning, dial *55 to get a trooper out to your location.