With summer now in full swing, and children out of school, many families are flocking to Connecticut’s shoreline.
Emergency responders are expecting to see more boats out on the water, and this weekend they will have more patrols out to make sure everyone is safe.
On Friday, Eyewitness News jumped on board with Stratford police for a marine patrol, which happens seven days per week during the summer.
"On a busy Saturday or Sunday in June or July or August, you'll have hundreds of boats coming in or out of the Housatonic River here,” said Stratford Officer Joe Maida.
Their job is to keep everyone safe.
"It’s a lot different than if your car is disabled on the street, you can just get out and walk away. Out here, you can't just get out and walk away,” Maida said.
The police boat has all the technology to help, like side-scan sonar, navigation, and night vision cameras.
Friday marked the beginning of Operation Dry Water nationwide.
It comes right before the July 4 holiday, focusing on safety equipment, licenses, and is a reminder to not boat under the influence.
"I want to be safe out here as well, and making sure the other boaters are safe is always a good thing,” said Michael Creane of Milford.
During the safety checks, one of the things they're looking for are life jackets. You’re required to have one on board for every person on board.
Officials say 84 percent of people who have died in drownings were not wearing a life jacket.
Stratford police issued 109 infractions on the water last year, and 325 verbal warnings.
They had four drug arrests on the water, an accident investigation, and helped surrounding agencies 71 times.
Boaters can expect to see extra checks all weekend long.
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