Lake Mead emphasizes boat safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend

LAS VEGAS - Memorial Day weekend drew 150,000 people last year, and the park service expects just as many people this year, if not more because the construction around Kathryn Landing near Laughlin is finally complete.

On Wednesday, shelves were stocked, and people are lined up for boat rentals ahead of the holiday weekend.

"We’re obviously stocking the stores to the brims," said Gail Kaiser, Las Vegas Boat Harbor.  "We're getting everything ready for a good crowd."

Even the coast guard is launching patrol boats -- pairing with other agencies prepping for large crowds.

On Wednesday, 8 News NOW hit the water with the Las Vegas Boat Harbor Rentals who emphasizes safety all year long.

"We do different things," Kaiser said.  "Like we have stickers that we’re going to give out to the kids saying wear your life jacket."

The state of Nevada requires children under 13 years old to wear a life vest.  In the past five years, all of the drownings at Lake Mead have happened to people not wearing a life vest.

"Children, in particular, you see them all the time wearing an adult life jacket, but if you put an adult life jacket on a child, it’s like not having one," Kaiser said.

However, if you're renting a boat, your age doesn't matter for the Las Vegas Boat Harbor.  The business emphasizes that everyone has to wear a life jacket.

"Everybody has to watch a boating safety video," according to Kaiser. "I know it gets redundant sometimes because if you come out the next day, you have to watch the safety video again.  There are no free passes."

Even the staff receives safety training to ensure boaters know how to properly operate the vehicle.

"What marks a really great Memorial Day weekend is that everybody comes home safe," Kaiser said.


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