Visitors urged to follow water safety rules at Lake Kaweah

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Visitors urged to follow water safety rules at Lake Kaweah
A busy Memorial Day at Lake Kaweah in Tulare County marked the unofficial start of summer.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A busy memorial day at Lake Kaweah in Tulare County marked the unofficial start of summer.

"It's really fun, it's really nice that this body of water is in our backyard and we are just able to take advantage of it and the good weather that is right now," said South Valley local and Lake Kaweah visitor, Peter Martinez.

The lake is almost full from snowmelt runoff and rain.

While the water looks peaceful on the surface, below lies branches, logs and debris.

That's why visitors like Peter Martinez are making sure their life jackets are on at all times.

"I have been a swimmer for most of my life but I notice when you come out here the water and the direction and the way it works it's not always the same so that's really important for people to understand the safety of wearing these even though you do know how to swim," explained Peter.

Sam Coons has been visiting Lake Kaweah for years.

She says it's the highest she has seen water levels in a while.

"Find a good life jacket that would be comfortable. They make them in all range sizes, just get your kids used to it. It's important, it's a necessity, it's not a questionable thing, you just have to do it because you just never know," mentioned Sam.

Patrolling the waters are six Tulare County Sheriff Deputies.

Two deputies are assigned to each site, including the Kings River, Lake Success and Lake Kaweah.

Deputy Derrick Hood was patrolling Lake Kaweah on Memorial Day.

"However, this is a bad fire extinguisher," Deputy Hood explained as he pulled someone over on the water.

Enforcing regulations, ensuring every vessel and jet-ski has a working fire extinguisher and making sure people aren't speeding in a wake zone, are a few of his duties.

Each vessel should also have an emergency sounding device like a whistle or a horn in case of an emergency, plus someone keeping an eye out for debris.

Drivers should also have a boating license and registration.

Every person must have a life jacket.

"The importance of that is it may just save your kids life. Everybody comes out here wanting to have a good time, however on the water when things go bad they tend to go bad very very quickly," mentioned Deputy Hood.

So far, there have been no drownings in Tulare County this season.

Deputies will be out on the waters every weekend and some days throughout the week.

For information on regulations and boating licenses visit here.

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