Boaters asked to be safe and attentive

May 24, 2013

It is expected to be a busy Memorial Day weekend on local waterways and boaters are being reminded that the Erie County Sheriff's Department Marine Division will be out in force.

Sheriff Tim Howard says deputies will be conducting safety inspections and will be on the lookout for intoxicated boaters. He urges those on the water to serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

Credit Jim Ranney/WBFO News

"If you're seeing something unusual...if you think they've been drinking, if you think they're up to something unlawful...please share it with some law enforcement agency," Howard said.

The Marine Division has six full-time officers and two boats to patrol the county's 90 miles of shore line.

Marine Division Sgt. Richard Lauricella says routine patrols will be in place on Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

"We patrol the marinas, we check the marinas for security and safety. We stop vessels for different infractions of law enforcement, but we also stop them just to inspect their vessels to make sure their safe.  It's not much different then patrolling on the road," Lauricella said.

There are about 25,000 registered boats in Erie County.