A lot of people are hitting the water this Memorial Day weekend and the Ohio Division of Watercraft is as well, helping to keep people safe.
It's the kickoff of boating season and people are getting their rigs in the water
WKYC Photojournalist Carl Bachtel joined local watercraft officers on Portage Lakes for a first-hand look at their life-saving mission.
The Division of Watercraft is out there working hard, as their mission is to ensure everyone's safety but also ensure they have fun at the same time, and that means safety checks.
They keep an eye out for any violations.
Today they stopped a jet skier and the on-the-water-inspection revealed he was not prepared.
He had four violations -- wrong OH numbers, no distress flag, no registration in the watercraft, and a discharged fire extinguisher.
But since his 12-year-old son was wearing his life jacket, he got a reward -- one free ice cream cone at McDonalds.
Wearing that lifejacket could make the difference in a bad situation.
Groups like the Coast Guard Auxilliary do courtesy checks, like today at Portage Lakes State Park.
It takes about five minutes and it lets you know before you go out on the water, before the sheriff or ODNR get you, because they'll cite you and you're going to get a pretty hefty ticket.
So get that boat inspected. It could save you the cost of a citation and also save your life.