Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to summer and it's Safe Boating Week, so there's no better time to be safe.
Mayor Bob Newell says we can't underestimate the importance of safety on the water this weekend and always.
He says treat the water with respect and learn what you can do to protect yourself and those you care about all while enjoying the valley's waterways.
“This is the first major weekend of the boating season, Memorial Day weekend and people need to be cognizant of the dangers of the water,” Newell says. “We have great rivers around here; we have a lot of water surrounding us and it's a great boating area so we hope people are safe."
The mayor says people really need to think before they even go on the water.
Take the proper precautions, don't overload your boat and have a life vest on board.
Sgt. Chris McKnight, of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says during holiday weekends they have a big issue with people overloading boats.
He says it’s the primary reason they look for registration problems because usually the beginning of boating season folks don't have their safety equipment on board.
“Make sure that the boat's working properly (and) they have the proper safety equipment on the boat, which is required by law,” McKnight says. The main thing is that the PFDs (personal flotation device) are on the boat -- size appropriate, good working condition; make sure your registration's in order and all that stuff.”
McKnight says patrols are going to be out all weekend and multiple boats will check inspections to make sure we have a safe boating weekend.