River patrols encourage boater safety this summer

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Summer is time for sailing -- but high waters and people breaking ordinances are concerning state officials.

The North Dakota Game and Fish department has found such discrepancies as they patrol the state's rivers and lakes.

The river that runs through Bismarck-Mandan is a major summer attraction for boaters.

"The Missouri River in the Bismarck Mandan area is probably one of the busiest recreational bodies of water we have," says Jackie Lundstrom, Enforcement Operations Supervisor.

Game and Fish Department officers have been patrolling the river every day for the last couple of weeks.

This year the wardens are partnering up with local agencies to assist with the patrols.

"They work with our officers, which allows us to have two boats on the water instead of just one. Which with double coverage we can cover more calls on the river," says Lundstrom.

The department is also cracking down on boaters who are operating while under the influence.

"Although in a boat the level of alcohol in your system may be different than driving the effects are still the same," says Lundstrom.

Along with the proper amount of life jackets on the boat.

"You have to have a wearable life jacket on board that fits every individual on board."

In order to keep people safe, while having fun this summer.

Game and Fish say the most common ticket is for people who don't carry enough life jackets on their boat, as they're expected to have one per person on board.