ROCHESTER, Minn. - With an increase in boater traffic this summer, as vacations are cancel and long-distance traveling is at a minimum due to COVID-19, Olmsted County Emergency Management is keeping an extra eye out on the water.
Sgt. Chris Wallace says there are some key things boater need to keep in mind including having everybody under the age of ten wear a life jacket on board. Drivers should also work on keeping their distance from private docks.
Wallace says there's also been an increase in people parking their boats next to each other but says it's still important to social distance even when on the water.
He explained, "We still would say that people need to social distance if you're not with a family member and just to be aware that COVID-19 still exists; just because you're on the water doesn't mean it goes away. So, people should still social distance and pay attention to that."
Emergency management says boaters should also pay attention to the weather before heading out. If there's severe weather in the forecast be prepared to get off the lake quickly if need be.
"The last thing you want to do is be stuck in the middle of a lake when a storm rolls in so just pay attention to the weather, what's coming in and how it's going to be so you're ready to get off the lake if that does happen," he added.
Olmsted county has been patrolling the water this summer. The department says one of the main citations has to do with people not changing their registration when getting a new boat.