As Fourth of July holiday weekend arrives, ‘Operation Dry Water’ kicks off

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KANSAS CITY,  Mo. -- A trip to the lake is tradition for many people on Independence Day weekend.

But Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding boaters the same alcohol rules apply to boats as they do to cars. Operation Dry Water kicked off nationwide Friday.

“We’re looking for every violation that we can out here," Sgt. Bryan Parrott said.

It didn’t take him long until he spotted a boater with a problem on Smithville Lake.

“You’ll need the registration, you’ll need the fire extinguisher," he instructed a woman who had taken an inflatable motorized boat on the water for the first time.

“Most everybody around here knows what they are doing, it’s just more boats out there so you have to be more careful," boater Dave Maggart said of the influx of boaters expected on the lake.

“We are paying close attention to those kinds of violations where people are just getting too close to other boaters," Sgt. Parrott said.

Whenever a trooper pulls someone over they’ll also be trying to figure out if he or she has been drinking.

“You will have drinking on the boats the party coves will fill up with boats and there will be lots of drinking going on in the water absolutely," Sgt. Parrott said.

Anyone who needs help on the lake is urged to call Star 55 not 911. Parrott says it’s important to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and the lake’s landmarks.

“What we get a lot of (is people calling saying) 'we’ve got a drowning subject and they are across from the marina' and that doesn’t get it done," Sgt. Parrott said.

Extra patrols will be on the lake all weekend long through the 4th of July fireworks show Tuesday night. Setting off fireworks from a boat is illegal.