ENC law enforcement keeping waters safe on Memorial Day Weekend

BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The Memorial Day Weekend has arrived and so have plenty of visitors hoping to get out on the water with family and friends, but it’s important to be safe as well.

“We run into people not remembering the laws or maybe they’re new to boating but the Memorial Day Weekend we see a lot of activity, it’s the kickstart of summer,” says Kennedy.

Saturday, Sergeant Daniel Kennedy with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission hit the water in Beaufort County as he worked to keep the water safe. After being in the water for 5 minutes, Sergeant Kennedy made a stop.

“Write you a warning real quick and get you on your way,” says Kennedy.

More stops were made with multiple citations being given out throughout the day from not having enough life jackets—

“As important as life jackets we’re pretty strict across the board. Cut and dry if you don’t have enough wearable life jackets per person we just issue a citation, says Kennedy.

—-to having an open container of alcohol while being underage. A few minutes later, Sergeant Kennedy stopped a boat after suspecting the driver was under the influence.

This stop led to an arrest.

“If we come across a boater that suspect is under the influence of an impairing substance whether it be alcohol or drugs we do field sobriety test. If we determine that person is impaired they are arrested,” says Kennedy.

NC Wildlife Resource Commission partners with highway patrol and local police departments for their “on the road. On the water. Don’t drink and drive campaign”, with the goal of bringing more awareness to the dangers of including alcohol when driving boats and cars. This is in hopes that everyone stays safe this Memorial FDay Weekend.

“We just want people to be safe, be responsible, if you want to have alcohol on the boat just designate a sober operator, says Kennedy.

Kennedy says alcohol is one of the leading factors of boating deaths he investigates, as it affects people’s judgement, reaction time and ability to operate a boat safely.