FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) –The 4th of July weekend drew crowds to Shaver Lake, and as the holiday weekend kicked into high gear, Fresno County Sheriff deputies were making the rounds on the water, ensuring everyone was enjoying themselves safely.
“We have two boats out right now. A little bit later this afternoon we’ll have four boats out,” said deputy Corey Holston. “Lots of people on the shore.”
Deputies will be patrolling Fresno County lakes and rivers throughout the long weekend. They’ll be looking out for people who are not following lake patterns, riding in the front or in the back of a vessel where they can fall off and get ran over by the boat, speeding, not wearing a life jacket in the water or on a jet ski, or boating under the influence.
“Majority of [citations], we have a lot of renters that come from out of town and don’t know the local rules and regulations,” explained Holston.
He’s also checking for boater ID cards. The age requirements changed this year.
“This year is up to 45, next year it’ll be up to 50. It increases in age until 2025. At that point, everybody will be required to have it.”
Law enforcement will be on the lookout for anyone in distress, too.
On Saturday, the boat patrol saved the day for a man and a woman on a small fishing boat.
“The waves came over the back and started to take on water, sinking,” said Holston.
Deputies spent about 30 minutes bailing out water while other patrols blocked incoming waves.
“We were able to put the fishing boat on a pontoon boat from [Camp] Edison and we transported it back to shore.”
Deputy Holston said these vessels can be dangerous.
“We’ve had numerous fatalities related to those boats, capsizing and sinking.”