ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As eager residents are ready to get their boats off the dock, experts shared some tips to make sure everyone stays safe this season.
“It’s one of the weekends to kick off the summer so normally there’s a lot of boat traffic this year it’s going to be unpredictable just because of how cool we are but we’ll see what it’s going,” said Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Kempin.
Deputy Kempin has worked the boat patrol for 15 years. He says the most important part of his job is educating residents about the laws and obeying the signs.
Community members like Almir Ladarevic are excited to spend some time on the Rock River.
“We’re going to be spending it with my best friends here we’re going to enjoy the nice cold water but have a good day,” said Ladarevic. “We don’t want to create a wake when people are pulling in their boats.”
Having life vests for every passenger and making sure not to be driving while intoxicated are a few ways to stay safe.
“When we have someone pulled over it’s just like being out on the roadway. There’s a Scott’s Law for the river or any body of water. So if you see law enforcement lights going, you need to treat that as a no-wake area. It allows us to do our job and safety of whoever we’re dealing with,” said Deputy Kempin.
It’s also important to have an emergency contact.
“You’ve got to be able to contact someone in case you have any boating issues a lot of them don’t know that the sheriff’s department does have a telephone that they carry with them at all times to answer those boaters that are in distress,” the deputy added.