DMR's Marine Patrol ups enforcement for holiday weekend - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

DMR's Marine Patrol ups enforcement for holiday weekend

The Department of Marine Resources' Marine Patrol team is out on the water this holiday weekend with one major focus: safety. (Photo source: WLOX) The Department of Marine Resources' Marine Patrol team is out on the water this holiday weekend with one major focus: safety. (Photo source: WLOX)
MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) -

Sunday's warm weather was just right for many boaters as they got out on the water for some weekend fun.

"It has been good. I caught a 30 pound Gag yesterday, so it has been pretty good," one boater said.

The Department of Marine Resources' Marine Patrol team was also out on the water with one major focus.

"We want to make sure you and your family are safe," Chief Keith Davis said.

Chief Davis heads the Marine Patrol division and said increased enforcement during big holiday weekends is critical.

"Things can go bad real fast on the water. I have been involved in an incident where we are enjoying a great day of fishing, and the next minute we are rushing an individual to the hospital with a severe injury," Davis said. "Things could go bad real fast, and we want to make sure we are mindful of that."

Officer Paul Elmore agrees. One problem he often encounters during holidays is people boating while drinking.

"Your reactions are slow and you are just not thinking clearly. You have to be in the right mindset to operate these boats because things could turn dangerous real quick on the water," Elmore said.

Chief Davis and Elmore said while they are here to help, boat operators and passengers should also take their own safety precautions.

"We want to make sure you have your boating equipment there, life jackets, flares," Elmore said.

"Everyone that is on board should have an accessible flotation device available to them. If you are 12 years or under, you have to wear that flotation device at all times," said Davis.

The Marine Patrol team said following the water safety rules should keep folks protected this holiday weekend, and help you avoid paying a hefty fine.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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