Rough start to 'Lake Season'

- With two accidents on the water this week and Memorial Day Weekend nearing, Cornelius Police Department is increasing their lake patrols. 

FOX 46 Charlotte took a ride with the fire department on Wednesday and observed how they're actively making sure this doesn't turn into a deadly summer season on the water. 

Related1 taken to the hospital after near-drowning on Mountain Island Lake

Cornelius Police Department said a lot of people out there don't know how to navigate the lake. One boat did not even give them the right of way while they were on the water. That is why they're trying to make sure people take a boating course. 

A deadly boat crash is now how Cornelius wanted the lake season to start. 

"We just urge people to take this seriously."

Their police department is stepping up patrols - searching for people who are not following safety rules. 

"You are going to see a lot more of us out here. You are going to see one or two extra boat on the weekends, especially on the holidays. Ensure that people are staying safe and following the rules."

But boating laws only allow them to do so much. 

"It's tough to enforce something that is not required. However, when something happens and you don't have you life jacket on, it's too late."

By law, only children under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket. Anyone over that age only has to have one nearby. If you own a boat and are born before January 1, 1988, you are not required to take a boating safety course. 

Furthermore, if you are renting a boat, you do not need to take a class at all. 

"We recommend everyone to take a boater safety course, whether it's online or the many that are offered here by the coast guard or power squadrons."

Cornelius police are also offering a boating safety course specific to boaters on Lake Norman. They said they will do everything they can to make sure boaters are educated and navigate the waters safely. 

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