Law enforcement urges safe, sober boating


(NEWS10) — As Memorial Day approaches along with the 2021 boating season, local law enforcement agencies are urging the public to stay safe on the water.

The Fulton and Saratoga County Sheriff’s Departments, in conjunction with Operation Dry Water, announced the start of their sober boating campaign aimed at educating and advising the public on safe and sober boating.

The agencies announced an increase in lake patrols this year following the introduction of Brianna’s Law in 2020 that will require all boaters to take a safety course by the year 2025 regardless of age. The Henry D. Ross Fund also donated life jackets and flotation rings to local restaurants and marinas to help with safety precautions throughout the area.

Alcohol was the number one leading factor of accidents on Capital Region lakes and waterways in 2020, according to Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo. Now, with more boaters than ever, he is hoping for a safe and enjoyable summer.

“Through the pandemic, boat sales, personal watercraft sales were through the roof. We saw a large presence on our waterways throughout Saratoga County, including near the Sacandaga,” Zurlo said. “We want to make sure the public buying boats that they know their boat, that they know how to operate the boat, that they make sure they have the proper equipment in the boat.”

Local law enforcement agencies will also hold a sonar and diver training at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 27 on the Great Sacandaga.

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