OHP Urges Boater Safety Over Holiday Weekend, Summer

Friday, May 27th 2016, 6:59 pm
By: News On 6

Area lakes are filling up with boaters for Memorial Day weekend, and it’s going to be a busy one. Local law enforcement wants to make sure every boater is prepared.

Every holiday weekend, Grand Lake becomes one of the most populated areas in Oklahoma. And that means people are getting their boats in the water for the first run of the season.

Jerry Cookson of Cedar Port Marina gives this speech to first time boat owners every year.

"Count the people on the boat before you start it. Make sure you have everyone with you,” Cookson said. “Make sure everyone is sitting down before you start the boat.”

He also makes sure boaters carry the essential tools.

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

"I like that paddle that extends out, so you can reach out and grab a hold of something if you need to pull yourself in or reach and grab ahold of a life vest…” Cookson said.

“I always put one of these on a boat, so you have four extras, everyone on the boat has to have one.”

From the Highway Patrol to the GRDA, officers will be out in force this weekend.

"We want you to come to the lakes,” GRDA police Officer Ed Ferguson said. “We want you to have a good time. If you're going to drink. Don't operate the boat.”

Officers can't stress enough the importance of life jackets.

"That PFD is like a seat belt,” Ferguson said. “You wear it just in case hoping that nothing does happen, but if it happens -- if that PFD is laying 5-feet away from you it's not going to do you any good.”

If you have any questions on what to bring on your boat, just contact your local marina.