BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. -- Law enforcement and the Army Corps of Engineers are busy patrolling the lakes to make sure everyone has a safe holiday weekend. Michael Deere rode along with one Army Corps Ranger to see if folks are following the laws.
Norfork Lake in north Arkansas draws folks from both Arkansas and Missouri, to enjoy the nearly 700 miles of coastline the lake offers.
With so many people on the water, Ranger Roger Howell explains why its important to stress safety.
"This is the first holiday and the first time a lot of people get on the water and so they are unfamiliar sometimes with their boat and the equipment."
Howell, along with Game and Fish officials, Highway Patrol and sheriff's deputies enforce United States Coast Guard regulations.
"We're looking for life jackets, fire extinguishers and that type of equipment. Just making sure that people visually get their equipment out and look at it. We want people to make sure it's in good working order and they know where to find it when it comes time to use it."
Howell's main focus Sunday was life jackets on children.
Howell cited one driver for having two children on the boat without a life jacket.
"In the State of Arkansas, all children 12 and under must have a life jacket on at all times. The only exception is on a pontoon, if the pontoon is stopped and the engine is shut off."
On two occasions, jet ski drivers were pulling more children than allowed.
"This jet ski is allowed for a total of three people. So you can have an operator an observer and then one person being towed."
Every one of the over half a dozen stops included the standard safety check.
Howell looks for life jackets for everyone on board, a fire extinguisher, a horn or noise device of some type, a throwaway flotation device and boater registration.
One driver was given a warning for not having a fire extinguisher or horn device along with his registration.
Howell says he and others aren't out to ruin folks weekends - it's actually quite the opposite.
"We want to make sure everyone goes home at the end of the day and has a great weekend."
As of Sunday, officials say two underage drivers had been cited for DWI.
No accidents had been reported.