MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you are enjoying one of our 10,000 lakes this holiday weekend, it’s important to stay safe.

WCCO’s Erin Hassanzadeh went out on a lake today to see why people get pulled over and how to avoid a ticket yourself.

“We’re out today just looking for basic boating infractions,” explained Commander Eric Bradt with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.

While most are relaxing during this long holiday weekend, it’s prime time for the Ramsey County Sheriff Water Patrol.

“This is a busy crazy weekend for us,” said Bradt.

There are thousands of dollars of fireworks to protect and countless boaters to keep an eye on.

“We’re looking for children not wearing their life jackets, looking for intoxicated boaters, jet skiers operating too close to each other, other boats operating too close to each other,” explained Bradt.

They need to a reason to stop a boat.

“The biggest thing we stop people for is registration,” said Bradt.

That’s why they stopped this pontoon. They had the proper paperwork, but their lifejackets were under the seats. If you’re under 10 you have to wear it at all times.

The boaters though got off with just a warning.

“We like to do the education piece before the enforcement piece,” explained Bradt.

And if you are caught following the law, you may just be rewarded with a Ramsey County Sheriff beach ball.

“It says always wear your life jacket, it’s just a reminder, positive contact with them. Most kids really appreciate it and have fun with it,” said Bradt.

The Sheriff’s office says there will be hundreds of boats out here for an evening fireworks display. One thing to keep in mind if you’re boating at night, make sure to remind someone that you’re going so that they can check on you if you don’t come back in time.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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