Park rangers urge boating safety heading into Memorial Day weekend

Park rangers urge boating safety heading into Memorial Day weekend
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:13 PM CDT
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Memorial Day weekend is seen as the kick-off to summer boating season and Lake Cumberland could see some of its largest crowds since before the pandemic.

From Friday to Monday, there will be many boats on the lake. People will be traversing the channels, tubing, water skiing and more. But the question is, will they be doing it safely or have safety in mind?

All five campgrounds managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are full for this weekend, and the lake is expected to see a lot of traffic during the long weekend. Very few boats were seen Wednesday, but that will change starting Friday.

People need to wear life jackets, and park rangers say boaters need to be on the lookout for debris, some of which has not settled on the banks or floated on down the lake yet.

“The debris is not as bad as it is in March or April, but we still have floating debris out there. So everyone needs to be aware and maybe have a second person to help lookout while you are navigating,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Judy Daulton.

Corps rangers say boaters also need to treat waterways like they would a road. Travel on the right-hand side just like you would on a roadway. They say a lot of people treat water as a free for all, which can also be dangerous.

Park rangers say everyone on a boat needs a life jacket that is age and weight appropriate for the person wearing it.