U.S. Coast Guard increases Lake Erie patrols on Memorial Day

U.S. Coast Guardsmen said they increase the number of patrols on Lake Erie during Memorial Day weekend.
 
"If you see us out on the water, there's a really good chance we're going to stop you," said Thomas Foley, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard crews patrolling the Great Lake.
 
Foley said his crew of guardsmen will conduct three patrols Memorial Day. He said other crews will also conduct several patrols throughout the day because of increased traffic on the water.
 
"We can board at any time. We don't have to have a reason to board. We just go out and we check boats at random to make sure they're operating safely," he said.
 
Foley said missing life jackets, speeding and concerns about boaters who are drinking and driving are the main reasons he decides to stop and board a boat.
 
"My biggest pet peeve is people who don't have enough life jackets for everyone on board or children not wearing their life jackets," he said.
 
"There's too many times where we've gone to a case and it's been a fatality because people weren't wearing their life jackets," he said.
 
Foley said most boaters seem to be getting the message about how to stay safe on the water.
 
He said there is a noticeable increase in boaters on Lake Erie this holiday weekend, but there has not been a significant increase in citations or bad behavior.
 
"Our goal is to educate voters. We're not out there to cause anybody trouble. We're not looking to ruin anybody's weekend. We just want to educate the boaters, make sure they're safe," he said.
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