Slow down, look around: MPD Harbor Patrol promotes boating safety ahead of busy weekend
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Summer events along the lakefront often bring tons of boaters together, and Milwaukee is entering another busy weekend.
CBS 58's Jenna Wells took part in a special ride-along with Milwaukee Police Department Harbor Patrol on Wednesday, to see a day in their life on the water.
"We want to make sure that people understand there's a lot going on on the water, and that they should always be aware of everything going on around them," said Officer Chris Boss.
Summer is always busy for Boss and his colleagues with MPD Harbor Patrol.
"Our area of responsibility covers a good amount of water," Boss said. "We've got the three rivers, two canals, the open waters of Lake Michigan, from the city limits north and south out to mid-lake, which is 44 miles from here."
While watching for violations and helping those in need, Harbor Patrol also keeps boaters educated.
Boater awareness has been especially important this summer, with the Milwaukee River Restoration Project impacting the area near the Broadway bridge.
"Currently there's a few areas where two boats won't actually fit together under the bridge," Boss said. "Wait to see what might be coming through a bridge if the bridge is up."
An important task is patrolling events near the lake. They work with the Sheriff's office and Coast Guard to establish safety zones for boaters near events.
"You'll see the patrol boats stacked up on that line, holding a line to prevent anyone from going into an area where there might be some danger," Boss said.
MPD Harbor Patrol will be out this weekend during the Milwaukee Air and Water Show, enforcing additional "no wake" zones near the festivities.
"If you find yourself out for the show, please keep your speeds to slow no wake anywhere in the walled harbor," Boss said.
With thousands of boats out for other events this summer, Officer Boss is expecting a big turnout this weekend.
"We love to see them, so the more the merrier. We just always want to make sure that everyone is safe out on the water," Boss said.