Increased water patrol expected for holiday weekend

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Authorities are warning swimmers and boaters to be safe this Labor Day weekend.

30-year-old Jeremy Welch drowned last weekend at Perry Lake in an area known as Party Cove.

"How it happened, there's just a lot of questions still out there," Welch's friend Joe Muder said.

It's unknown whether he was drinking, but a lot of people who come to that spot do.

What makes things particularly dangerous, especially if you've been drinking is the murkiness of the water. The Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism demonstrated how quickly things disappear below the water's surface with a hook just inches into the dark water.

"You don't know which way is up, you may go in may do a somersault and all the sudden you lose your orientation and you are thinking that way is up," Game Warden Jeff Crouser said.

"Definitely wear a life jacket, I wouldn't want to be jumping in a lake without a life preserver right now," Muder said.

Lifejackets are required for children 12 and under, and have to be readily available for every other person on board.

Spotters are required for water skiers or people tubing, but with the water being so murky, they say it's a good idea to have spotters for anyone swimming as well.

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