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BOATER SAFETY: Oklahoma lakes expect large crowds for Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 24, 2024

KEYSTONE LAKE, Okla. — Lake fans are ready for the holiday weekend while lake rangers look toward safety.

2 News rode along with a ranger talking safety while having fun.

People at the lake said they were happy to be there. They said lakes are the place as summer is kicking off.

Memorial Day Weekend draws people to the water, but for local law enforcement, safety is top of mind.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did a boat ride ahead of the weekend.

It was a slow-moving ride but perfect to get to know the lake.

Ranger Tanner Huckaby said it would be normal business for him but with a few extra people.

"Keystone, especially for like the upcoming holiday weekend is busy. We get a lot of traffic from Tulsa. Got a lot of people and your families coming to visit for the holidays really good weekend. A really fun time," said Huckaby.

He is from Mannford one of the towns next to Keystone Lake. He said he grew up there and loved the lake.

"I gotta do boat checks now on my neighbors pretty much. I grew up with these people," Huckaby said.

It’s a community that everyone was talking about. From the marinas to the boaters, each person 2 News spoke with said the area is unmatched.

"Awesome, lake man. Community right here is great. The food out of the marina is awesome too," said Harbor Marina employee Kaleb Bennett.

With the larger crowds, Huckaby said people need to stay safe.

He said all boaters should have lifejackets on board. Children 13 and younger are required to wear them at all times while on the lake.

‘Still a violation of law’: Authorities warn against boating under influence

Drinking while driving is still illegal in the water. He also warns about the inexperienced boaters.

Another concern for him was the weather.
"Cause on Memorial Day Weekend, the weather can come out nowhere and you can get stuck out on the beach," he said. "Don’t risk it wait till the weather passes and then get out."

It's important to be mindful of the weather and the lake conditions.
Huckaby said if you need help on the water contact your local law enforcement.

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