What to do to stay safe on the water

Local News

With the Fourth of July weekend here, Raystown Lake law enforcement crews are expecting more boats and people out on the water.

Vincent Bojan and his wife have been bringing their daughter to Raystown Lake every Summer, for over 20 years.

Now they bring their grandkids.

“We’ll tube and we’ll swim,” Vincent Bojan, from State College, said.” “So, we’ll tube in the areas that aren’t too busy and we’ll swim in the no wake zones, stop at the beach every now and then.”

Local law enforcement say there’s simple precautions people don’t take that lead to accidents and tragedies on the water.

“With the increased traffic everyone just needs to be more cautious,” Allen Gwinn, Raystown Lake Project Area Park Ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said. “You can’t go as fast up and down the lake because the wakes are bigger. It’s state law that they have to stay a 100 feet from obstructions, shore line or buoys.”

They say drinking and driving rules for cars are the same for a boat.

“We would request that you put a designated driver behind the wheel, and don’t allow people who are drinking to be operating, not just intoxicated, but drinking at all,” Sean Sauserman, Waterways Conservation Officer with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, said. “You should be sober when you’re behind the wheel, there will be a lot more boats, a lot more traffic.”

Bojan says that in case of an emergency, he always has a marine radio on him to call for help.

“Those are strictly devoted to any kind of marine communication,” Bojan, said. “So, if you have a problem out on the water, you can contact the Army Corps through the marine channel.”

The national Operation Dry Water initiative is July 5th-7th. The Fish and Boat Commission will beef up staff at Raystown Lake for those days, making sure boaters aren’t drinking.

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