Conservation Police monitoring waterways this weekend - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Conservation Police monitoring waterways this weekend

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(WSIL) -- Conservation Police will be out this weekend watching boaters, all in an effort to keep them safe.

Lisa Haggerty, an officer with the Illinois Conservation Police, says there are some crucial infractions they are looking for. 

“Children under the age of thirteen have to wear a life jacket when the boats under way. So if we see one of those, we’ll make a stop, and check and make sure not only that child has one on, but there’s a life jacket on board for every person,” Haggerty said. 

Not only does each boater have to make sure they’ve completed the equipment checklist, but they also need to ensure they are safely navigating their craft.

Scott Karcher, who often finds himself on the water, says that he's seen some neglect safety in the name of fun. 

“The no wake zones, people go over there and they don’t slow down in time for the areas, and it creates an issue sometimes under viaducts or bridges, where people or kids are swimming or something like that,” Karcher said.

The Conservation Police say they want people to have fun, but to make sure safety is put first.

“We want to make sure that everybody is operating safely, not being too close, jet skis aren’t, say, jumping the wake behind other boats. We want everybody to enjoy their holiday weekend and have fun, but be safe, and we’ll be out in case anybody needs anything, we’ll be watching for violations,” Haggerty said. 

Karcher adds that safety is his family's number one concern, “We want to go home as we came. We want to go back and go home to bed just like we woke up this morning."

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