Patrols out searching boats for lawbreakers

boat patrolSEATTLE -- Officers are out patrolling on area lakes keeping people safe for the start of boating season. They're cracking down on boaters under the influence.

It's the official start of boating season. the Mercer Island Police Department is patrolling Lake Washington. Within minutes of casting off, Sergeant Jim Robarge receives a call for help.

Sgt. Robarge said, "They've got some sort of mechanical issue. We're not quite sure what it is. We're just gonna see if we can lend them assistance."

The police get the boat sputtering back to life but they're not done with this boater. He does not have proper safety equipment on board his vessel. Police let him off with a warning but they want to warn others about the importance of safety first.

"We're not out here to ruin anybody's day," Sgt. Robarge said.  "In fact, we want people to come out here and have a great time but we want them to do that in a way that's safe. It can be a lot of fun right up until something happens and when things happen out here they happen fast. And they happen in ways that are sometime difficult to recover from."

Officers say you should have a designated skipper out on the water. Just like a designated driver, the skipper should remain sober and get everyone home safely.