Stay safe on the water this summer

Comanche County_When we're out boating, we don't normally think of fatalities on the water - but, they do happen. Just this past weekend, a Moore man was killed in a water accident, and alcohol was found on the boat that crashed into him.

With Memorial Day approaching, it's time to think of safety.  Many will be heading out to the lake with their boats, and Lawton Police want to remind everyone to stay safe on the water.  The first safety priority is a life jacket.  "We're going to be checking boats to make sure that they have enough life jackets on board, also we're going to be looking for the [correct] type of life jackets," said Robert Bishop with the Lawton Police Department Lake Patrol.  Most boats require a type four throwable life jacket.  It serves a dual purpose - to be worn as a life jacket, or to serve as a life preserver.

Police will also be on the lookout for drunk boaters.  "That comes along with the holidays - there's going to be a lot of drinking, a lot of alcohol use," said Bishop.  "When you come out here we just ask that you drink responsibly."  Driving a boat is much different than driving a car.  "If you notice, there's no lane highways for us to drive on," Bishop said.  "Sometimes the sun glares off the water.  Sometimes you'll notice the windshield will get a lot of water on it and it will obstruct your view."

Bishop says it's important to be attentive and keep an eye on the water.  "You know, you might go by a skier that's just went down in the water, and they're a little bit hard to see."  He says boaters must be more than 75 feet from shore before accelerating past idle.

So, if you're heading out to your favorite lake this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to wear your life jacket, make sure you have a working horn and lights, and a confirm that there is a fire extinguisher on board- double checking could save your life.