Rangers increasing patrols on Utah Lake for Labor Day

Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-03 23:56:56-04

UTAH LAKE, Utah - Hundreds of Utahns celebrated the unofficial end of summer this Labor Day weekend by hitting the lake for one last day on the water.

There has already been one fatality and several search and rescue operations on Utah Lake this summer and, with more people on the water, chances of an accident increase. Utah Lake park rangers are out making sure everyone stays safe.

"We're looking for stuff that's going to help people get home at the end of the day," said Ty Hunter, Utah Lake State Park manager.

Rangers say the most common mistake boaters make is forgetting or not wearing life jackets. Every rider on-board a boat needs a life jacket and kids 12 and under need to wear them at all times. Hunter says the simple step can be the difference between life or death in an emergency.

"A lot of times a lot of the accidents, or swampings, or capsizings that happen, happen in less than 10 seconds. It's just wave, boom and another one hits or it's a wake," he said.

Rangers say they're mostly out on the lake to educate.