OHP Troopers Keep Area Boaters, Lakes Safe As Season Gets Underway


Sunday, May 29th 2016, 10:29 pm
By: News On 6


Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are out in full force on area lakes this weekend.

They do everything from search-and-rescue missions to routine boat inspections. And during a busy holiday weekend, they're the only ones not wearing swim trunks at the lake.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol marine enforcement -- they check your boat to make sure it's up to snuff.

"I'm gonna check your boat today; got some ID and some registration on your boat?"

License and registration and also equipment inspections.

"Let me see that fire extinguisher and honk the horn for me."

Turns out, this boat doesn't have proper ventilation.

"That's definitely a citable violation, OK?"

5/29/2016 Related Story: OHP Urges Boater Safety Over Holiday Weekend, Summer

But Trooper Ryan Griffith lets them off with a warning. Then it's time to hit the water.

Griffith knows Skiatook Lake like the back of his hand.

"I never kept track of how many drownings or how many fatality boatings I've worked, but I can tell you that I prevented a lot more of them,” Griffith said.

He says his No. 1 concern on the water is boats getting too close -- in danger of crashing.

"They need to keep their distance,” he said. “That's the top thing I'm looking for -- too close."

But it's not just patrolling or issuing citations and warnings troopers are tasked with; in this weather especially, there's a fair amount of rescuing, too."

Rain pelted the lake and even some hail. And when a watercraft breaks down in the middle of the lake, that can be scary.

OHP takes care of that, too. When operators of a personal watercraft got stuck in the cold rain, Griffith tossed them a life line, gave them a ride and pulled them to safety.

"Tie in a couple knots."

All in a day's work.

5/27/2016 Related Story: OHP Offers Its Free Boater Safety Classes In Broken Arrow