Deputies step up safety efforts on Bass Lake

One valley law enforcement agency is stepping up their efforts when it comes to water safety. 
 
Deputies from the Madera County Sheriff's Office say they know it is going to be a busy Summer at Bass Lake and that is why they want to be prepared. 
 
The Valley's rivers and lakes are usually places for fun, but in recent weeks the news of tragedies have become too common, 
 
They are tragedies law enforcement works to avoid, and one agency is working extra hard at just that.
 
"Our main goal is to make people safe on the water and that is in the way of education," says Deputy Amy Roussell from the Madera County Sheriff's Office. 
 
Deputies want Bass Lake to be as safe as possible.
 
This Summer they have more deputies, more training, and new tools.
 
"We are stepping up the efforts with a brand new boat," she says.
 
The county approved the purchase a brand new $85,000 boat with the latest technology.
 
"This is our first boat in 12 years, the other boats we had we had for 12 years they have over they had over 4700 hours on them, and one boat was in the shop all year," says Sgt. Larry Rich. 
 
Sgt. Larry Rich says this boat is faster and has all the bells and whistles and says it will improve response times on the lake.
 
"By us not being on the lake due to us having broke down boats last year it caused us issues not being out there to enforce some of the safety laws to keep people safe on the lake," he says. 
 
In the middle of Bass Lake is Sheriff's Island where where boaters can pick up free life vests under the new program "Give a Vest take a Vest"
 
"We can give them out to people on the lake if they need them, our plan is to have a kiosk type of a board where if somebody needs a vest they take it and they don't need to return it is for safety," says Roussell. 
 
For more information on the program you can head to the Madera County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

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