MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI)-- Many Hoosiers are kicking off their memorial day weekend outside at the lake. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources knows this time of year can be hectic for those on the water.
Memorial Day Weekend is packed with water skiing, swimming, and tubing. Katie Newton is making sure her five kids are following the rules for their own safety.
"Drowning is one of my biggest fears for sure especially with this many kids," Newton said. "You've got to keep a real close eye on your kids and know their abilities and prepare for the worst."
According to the Indiana Boating Laws and Responsibilities Handbook, a person may not operate a boat unless the boat contains a personal flotation device.
The two most common types of vests are type two and type three. Type two is used for boating, skiing, and tubing while type three is used for relaxing in the water, but one is required for everyone on board.
Indiana Conservation Officer Matt Tholen said patrolling the water is more than just giving tickets for violations. Tholen says 114 people in Indiana drowned last year and wearing the vest could be the difference between life or death.
"Our goal is to keep people safe," Tholen said. "If they have an opportunity we always recommend wearing your life jacket. Because very few people drown with life jackets."
Lake Shafer Boat Rentals owner Larry Blaser agrees it can be dangerous without a vest. Before drivers can rent, he makes sure his boats are checked accordingly.
"We try to prevent any of that from happening," said Blaser. "You can see around the corner, you can see all the ski vests we keep and each boat is set up before we go out."
This weekend, Newton said the risk isn't worth taking the chance.
"They have to stay on, the whole time. Just to be better safe than sorry."
Officers said they will continue to monitor the lake over Memorial Day weekend to make sure everyone stays safe.
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