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Memorial Day weekend big for boaters

WAPT Jackson logo WAPT Jackson 5/25/2018

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.

That means barbecues, swimming and boating. The Ross Barnett Reservoir is expected to be busy this weekend.

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“This time of year, especially holiday weekends, we try not to be on the water as much, just for that simple reason,” boater Pam Warren, of Forest, said.

Reservoir police are beefing up water patrols over the holiday weekend. Officers said they’ll be on the lookout for impaired and unsafe boaters.

Boaters who frequent the reservoir said they know to watch for those who are not boating responsibly.

“Hard-headed people are born every day, and that is just part of it,” boater Raymond Portis said. “You have to do your best and look out for them. If you know they are doing that out there, you stay away from them (and) give them the right-of-way because you know they are not paying attention to you.”

Mississippi boating rules and regulations require operators of all boats to have at least one wearable life jacket or personal flotation device for each person aboard.

“Anything can happen out here,” boater Wallace Owens said. “Especially when you get a little bit above 50, because you can’t swim like you used to. I used to be an excellent swimmer.”

Officials said other ways to stay safe are to let others know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

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