Lake Patrol performing boating checks to promote safety

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

KINGSTON, OK -- OHP lake patrol is manning the lakes this holiday weekend, including Lake Texoma, in an effort to keep everyone safe. Morgan Downing rode along with them on patrol and shows us what they will be checking for.

"Do you have your registration with you?"

That is just one of a list of things OHP Lake Patrol's Lieutenant Kurt McKean is making sure Lake Texoma boaters have.

"If every body will hold up a flotation device. Life jacket," Lt. McKean asked.

These lake goers didn't have the required throwable flotation device.

"You need to get yourself a boat cushion and tie a rope on it and just wrap it up," he recommended. In the event that somebody ever got in the water and got in trouble, what happens with people I'm telling you is they'll throw it and the wind will catch it it's gone. And they'll try to swim to it and it doesn't help and they'll drown."

Tim Wigington says he's thankful the lake patrol is keeping an eye out for violations.

"He gave me the handbook that I need to refresh my knowledge of the laws on for sure," Wigington said.

McKean says Troopers are not on the lake to punish. In fact, he says he usually writes warnings rather than tickets or making arrests. But, there are violations that warrant more than just a warning.

"The line draw for us is if it's a violation it's obvious that it's going to be an imminent loss of life or limb, and cause great bodily harm and damage. Obviously property damage, and that's generally an automatic citation," Lt. McKean said.

Lieutenant McKean says about 99 percent of accidents on the water are preventable.

"it's usually someone that is not thinking. Whether it be someone that has had too much to drink, or someone that just is not deploying good common sense, that's when an accident generally occurs," he said.

He says they're always on the lookout for people who are under the influence, reckless or careless, and those who don't have enough life jackets.

"Having the State Troopers out here making sure nobody is doing stupid things really is reassuring," Brooke Massey said.

"We've got our family on board and we try to be safe. We definitely want every body out here to be safe and protected and we don't want you know, ourselves or any body else to get hurt," Wigington said.


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