Stay safe while boating this 4th of July

Boaters are already making their way to Lake Coeur d’Alene for the holiday weekend. Just like drinking and driving makes for a deadly combination, it’s just as dangerous on the water.

Spending time on his boat is an everyday part of life for Patrick Shamblin.

“My earliest memory is sitting on my dads lap when I was four years old boating,” said Shamblin.

Yet he’s well aware that not everyone boats responsibly.

“There’s an understanding from people that it’s all fun and games and you have to hydrate on the water, but you can’t hydrate with alcohol,” said Shamblin.

In 2018, 48 people were arrested in Coeur d’Alene for operating under the influence. Seven of those arrests were made in the week leading up to the 4th of July.

“You know what’s in the cooler when it gets loaded onto the boat,” said Shamblin.

“Oh, there’s always reckless boating,” said Kathleen Goodwin, Volunteer for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Kathleen Goodwin is a volunteer for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. She’s one of many coast guards teaming up with law enforcement to promote safe boating.

“We add life jackets to the life jacket loaner kiosk, we teach public education classes, we have PA events,” said Goodwin.

These are all things Goodwin hopes will help prevent people from getting hurt on the water, or worse.

“After the water, we want them to go home safe and sound to their families,” said Goodwin.

“All you need to do is see the deaths that have been reported on this lake. It should be a wake up call for everybody,” said Shamblin.

If you are caught boating under the influence you can be arrested. There’s also jail time, as well as a fine of up to $1,000.

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