"Kickoff to summer:" Boating season now underway; police work to keep you safe on the water

PEWAUKEE LAKE -- Extra patrols during the Memorial Day holiday weekend didn't just happen on the roads in Wisconsin. Pewaukee Lake police were out monitoring the water, making sure everyone had a fun, but safe time marking the unofficial start to summer.

"Our experience is Memorial Day is the kickoff to summer," Officer Greg Heyrman, Pewaukee Lake police said.

Pewaukee Lake

But when you add alcohol, plus sunshine, over time, the outcome can be bad.

"We're not trying to prevent anyone from having fun," Heyrman said.

Officers Greg Heyrman and Mark Gralinski said safety and education are their top priorities.

"There are a lot of boaters trying to share the water," Heyrman said.

Pewaukee Lake police

On Sunday, the officers were looking for risky behavior, and whether boat operators may have had too much to drink. They also ran registration numbers and made safety checks. During one stop, there weren't enough life vests on board.

Pewaukee Lake

"You don't need a motor vehicle license. You need a boater safety certificate if you're born after December 1st, 1989," Gralinski said.

In one case, no one on board had a safety certificate to operate a boat, so Officer Gralinski took control of the rental, while Heyrman escorted everyone back to shore.

"A lot of times they don't realize what they are doing is illegal or wrong or even unsafe and we definitely try to point those things out to them," Heyrman said.

Pewaukee Lake

Pewaukee Lake

Pewaukee Lake police said now that the summer boating season has begun, it's important to know the rules before you head out on the water.

CLICK HERE for more on boating in Wisconsin via the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.