VSP Patrols Waterways to Keep Boaters Safe

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 05/31 2014 04:28PM

Updated 05/31 2014 07:18PM

BURLINGTON, Vt.- Vermont has nearly 28 thousand registered boats so it’s 'all hands on deck' to patrol the waters. And the Vermont State Police Marine Division does just that in order to keep people safe.

“We are looking to make sure everyone is operating safely,” said Auxiliary Trooper Daniel Begiebing with the Vermont State Police Marine Division.

During the summer you can find Begiebing on Lake Champlain.

“The weather and conditions kind of drive everything, as the lakes get busier then we try to be more visible and out there especially once the kids are out of school,” said Begiebing.

Beigebing says while on the lake they assist the US Coast Guard with broken down boats and search and rescue missions. But most of the time their work is in boating safety. By law troopers can stop you on the lake at any time to conduct a safety inspection.

Begiebing says police look to make sure you have a license, that your boat meets all the safety standards, and that you have the proper lifesaving equipment on board. If you don't meet that criteria police can write you a ticket. And Begiebing says most of the time he puts a pen to paper for a life jacket violation.

“Anyone under the age of 12 has to wear a life jacket when on board an open vessel on the open waterways. A lot of times people have life jackets but they are either worn out or inappropriate size or they don’t have enough so there is one on board for every person on board the vessel,” said Begiebing.

Begiebing says the goal is to make sure you have a safe summer on Vermont's water.

“Just making sure that everybody continues to enjoy the lake for what it is and be safe out there because although the water looks inviting and nice it can turn dangerous and deadly at times,” said Begiebing.

Beginging in June VSP Marine Division will ramp up patrol for their 'Operation Dry Water' campaign in an effort to keep intoxicated 'boaters' off the water.

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