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Video: Law enforcement officials stress safety ahead of busy weekend on the water

Jul 01, 2021 07:38PM ● By Editor

Watch the KSTP-TV report here

Photo: KSTP-TV

By Rebecca Omastiak from KSTP-TV - July 1, 2021 

Members of various state agencies talked about water safety Thursday ahead of the holiday weekend.

Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota State Patrol and county sheriff's offices announced they will increase patrols, looking for intoxicated boaters, July 2-4 as part of the "Operation Dry Water" campaign.

The campaign is aimed at curbing injuries and fatalities as a result of boating while intoxicated.

"I can't say it enough: If you're going to have a few drinks, just don't boat," Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said. "Use common sense, have fun, don't drink and drive."

Hutchinson also addressed a fatal Jet Ski crash on Lake Minnetonka Wednesday.

"What happened yesterday was not alcohol-related, but it's a tragedy of a young man who lost his life on the water. We don't want that again," Hutchinson said.

"Those are tough for us as a sheriff's office to see young men hurt," Hutchinson added.

While it's unclear what led up to the crash, Hutchinson hopes others take all precautions necessary ahead of a busy holiday weekend on the water.

"This is the 4th of July, we're supposed to have fun, we've had a long year last year. It's going to be hot, the water's going to be great, use common sense," Hutchinson said.

At his shop, just steps from Lake Minnetonka, Ray Serna knows just how much fun Jet Skis can be, but he took time to reflect after hearing about Wednesday's crash.

"That's hard, very hard for the family," Serna, the owner of Jetboyz, said. "It's scary, it's definitely something you don't want to go through."

For anyone who may be riding a Jet Ski for the first time this weekend, Serna offered up some important tips.

"With Jet Skis, you definitely want to be driving defensively, always have that head up, always know your surroundings because things change in an instant," Serna said. "Some of these jet skis do 70 miles per hour so you can get into a situation really quick and not get out of it."

Hutchinson said they plan to have five times more deputies on lakes and rivers this weekend.

To see the original report and read related stories, follow this link to the KSTP-TV website.

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