With the nice weather on tap for this weekend, many Minnesotans will be headed to the lakes. And to help keep everyone safe on the water, the DNR is ramping up patrols to crack down on drunken boaters. Friday marks the start of “Operation Dry Water” across the state. Boaters caught operating under the influence will have their boats impounded and could even be banned from boating.
One look at the wind swept Medicine Lake and you can see what Joe Harty is talking about. “This is a rare occurrence. The last time it happened I think was five years ago,” he said.
The recent bouts of rainy weather mean people can’t travel up and down the Mississippi River as far as they may like to. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed three of the Minneapolis locks to recreational traffic over the weekend. It could be a week before the river is low enough to be safe. Commercial traffic can still get through.
The past few days have been deadly on Minnesota waters. A 3-year-old boy drowned in a lake in Nisswa on Monday, and over 5-year-old girl and a woman died in a boating accident on Lac qui Parle, as the two were without life jackets.
Kim Elverum has been warning Minnesotans about water safety issues for more than four decades. Under Elverum’s watch, boating fatalities have fallen from 56 in 1975 to 15 last year. Elverum is the longest-serving state boating administrator in the nation.
The Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the boating season for many Minnesotans. So the Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters and anglers to be extra vigilant to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Brooke Welch is out on Lake Minnetonka, enjoying a boat ride that’s been months in the making. “It’s been a long winter, really cold so we are happy to be out on the water,” Welch said. Unfortunately for most boaters enjoying the weekend on water, gas prices in Minnesota are third highest in the nation – right behind Alaska and Hawaii.
As the ice comes off more Minnesota lakes, safety officials are highlighting Saturday’s start to National Safe Boating Week. The St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the best thing a person can do to stay safe on the water is to wear a life vest or personal flotation device.
On Saturday, Minnesotans will launch their boats in search of open water for the annual fishing opener.
The dock tells the story of White Bear Lake, ending way before the water. Or the nearby boat lift, left high and dry.
One person is dead after a boating accident early Saturday morning in Elysian, Minn. According to Waseca County Sheriff’s deputies, five teenagers were duck hunting on Lake Elysian when the boat they were on capsized around 6 a.m. Saturday morning. The boat was approximately 200 yards from shore.
One man is dead and two other people are injured after an extension cord fell into the water from a northern Minnesota boatlift.
Police are looking for the boater who was involved with a hit-and-run on a Becker County lake on Wednesday that left a 39-year-old man substantially hurt and a 4-year-old girl with minor injuries.
Authorities have identified the Forest Lake boater, who police have been searching for since Monday, as Tod Alan Crawford, 51, of Forest Lake.
Police in western Wisconsin pepper sprayed a boater they believe was drunk when he buzzed near swimmers in his boat. Police say the incident happened on Sand Lake near Osceola, Wis. on Saturday.