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Officers patrol waterways during busy holiday weekend

Posted May 23, 2015
Updated May 26, 2015

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— With thousands of North Carolinians expected to cruise the state’s waterways this holiday weekend, officers with the Wildlife Resources Commission are reminding boaters to stay safe.

According to officials, patrolling the water is much like patrolling the roadways.

"People are arrested just as they would be in a vehicle," said officer Brent Ward. "They are placed under arrest, handcuffed and taken to the intake center."

Ward said officers inspect safety equipment - a list of items every boater should have.

"What we'll start with will just be your fishing license," he said as he pulled alongside two fishermen in a boat. "Then we'll go to the equipment after that," he said.

Each boat is expected to have proper sized life jackets for each person on board. A throw cushion is also required if the boat is sixteen feet or longer, according to Ward.

Justin McBrayer said he picked up a North Carolina wildlife manual.

"It explains all of the rules and regulations in there and you just have to sit down and take a little time and make sure you got everything right," he said.

Ward said he simply does not want to see a fun day end with the loss of a life.

"You will see folks operating in an unsafe manner and as long as you're paying attention, you see those folks and you can take the proper steps to get out of their way," Ward said.

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