Deputies in Mahoning County target boaters with water patrols

Extra patrols will be out over the holiday weekend checking boats for safety

LAKE MILTON, Ohio (WYTV) – Deputies with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office will be out this weekend checking on boaters.

The extra patrols are funded by a grant from the state of Ohio.

Ten deputies will be checking boats for safety compliance during the Memorial Day holiday and throughout the summer.

The $26,000 grant will keep deputies on the water through Labor Day, with intense patrols over Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day holidays.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says there has to be one wearable life jacket for each person on a boat, and people are encouraged to wear them while boating.

If your boat holds 10 people, then you are required to have 10 life jackets available, even if you only have four boaters on board. Kids under 13 are required to wear a life jacket.

“A fire extinguisher is required. A safety flag is also a good item, and those are required by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard,” said Deputy Robert Hovanec.

Hovanec added that if you’re driving a boat, you should be aware of all signs and restricted areas.

Ohio boating laws are enforceable on all waters of the state, including private waterways.