Safe Boating Season

May 30, 2011 Updated May 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM EDT

By WKBW News

May 30, 2011 Updated May 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) By the end of May, the Erie County Sheriff's marine unit is usually busy keeping the peace on the waters of Lake Erie.

Deputy Rick Lauricella noted, "Normally w are out on patrol checking the marinas, checking vessels, making sure the waterways are safe. With less boats, we obviously move on to other duties."

Recent record setting rain has kept many boaters indoors, but once the sun comes out, that will change. The Sheriff's Office reminds everyone that being safe on the water should be a top priority.

Sheriff Timothy Howard stated, "Make sure the boat is properly registered, and that all the appropriate equipment that is needed for personal safety is on board."

Remember, one life jacket per person is required, as are a fire extinguisher and emergency flares.

However with the recent rain, there is something new to be concerned about on the waters...debris.

Recent rains have washed debris into the water like tree limbs, logs, and even full trees.

Lauricella noted, "If you are operating at a high speed and you hit that, you could compromise your hull, take out a prop, it could sink your vessel."