Human error, drinking and speeding all dangers of the lakes - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Human error, drinking and speeding all dangers of the lakes

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DETROIT LAKES, N.D. -- With sunscreen and towels in hand, Fargoans and vacationers flock to Detroit Lakes every year. It's a place of relaxation, but if those lake-goers are not careful situations can spiral out of control.

Human error, inexperience, drinking and speed are all factors that can cause an accident.

Tubing is what brings Brett Waldera and his two young daughters to the lake. Onshore, splashing in the water or onboard a boat he always keeps one eye open.

"You always have to be cautious of other boaters out there," said Brett Waldera. "You never know when a boating accident will occur. Obviously nobody plans that."

Valley News Team's Christina Craig pulled some numbers in Becker County and discovered the last drowning incident occurred in 2011 and the last major boating incident in 2012. In both accidents, life-vests were not being used.

Luckily, last year was relatively calm for water patrol. The Becker County Sheriff's Office received 75 water and boating complaint calls. So far this year, 19 have been called in.

"We get a lot of complaints of boats in the swim areas of coming too close to docks," Sgt. Todd Glander of the Becker County Sheriff's Office told Valley News Live.

By law boaters are required to carry enough life vests for people onboard. If you're under 10 you need to be strapped in. Whether you're on the boat or in the water, wearing a floating device can save a life.

"Safety on the water is always a concern," said Waldera.

Waldera enforces his girls to wear life vests at all times and practices safe boating techniques. Boating and water deputies play their part too by patrolling weekends, high complaint areas and increasing seasonal boat patrols.

There are a total of five deputies that patrol all the lakes in Becker County. If there was an emergency the Sheriff's Department says the maximum response time could be 30 minutes depending on where deputies are located.

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