Patrols starting on county lakes to ensure safe recreation

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the weather warms up on Memorial Day weekend, more people are spending time outdoors, with some starting to head out on the water.

Before heading out on the boat or kayak, law enforcement is reminding us to keep a few things in mind.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office will be on the water patrolling and making sure people are safe and following the rules.

“A lot of people don’t think, but crime happens on the lake as well,” said Brandon Akley of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, “we want to make sure we’re out here enforcing the laws and regulations and making sure people are being safe.”

Patrolling lakes comes with challenges unseen on city roads and county trails. Officers receive special training on maritime law and learn how to patrol the water in all types of weather.

Deputies are always keeping an eye out for people operating a boat under the influence. Lake patrols also serve to remove logs and other debris that can damage a vessel.

When on the water, law enforcement says there are some items you need with you. First, everyone on the boat should have a life vest. Second, you need to have a fully charged fire extinguisher. And third, you need a throwable life preserver just in case someone falls out of the boat.

The county’s boat patrol division has about 15 members, and they are hoping to be out every weekend on the county’s waters.

“Our goal is not to ruin people’s day,” Akley said, “we are really making sure people are abiding by the rules so people can experience a good time out on the lake.”

Categories: Local News