SKIATOOK, Okla. — The rain cleared out just in time to kick off Memorial Day weekend.
It’s the start of summer and lake season as boaters head to the water to celebrate.
Crews at CrossTimbers Marina at Skiatook Lake are busy getting ready for the big weekend. But, they’re not expecting the crowds they had last year.
General Manager Hank Spencer said, due to COVID-19, every weekend last summer was like the Fourth of July.
“People couldn’t do anything at home," Spencer said. "They were going out. Cabin fever. They came to the lake. We saw record traffic last year, but this year it seems like we’re a little bit back to normal. Baseball, soccer, everything’s going on.”
Boaters are already taking advantage of the warm weather Friday afternoon. But, officials warn about actually getting in the water.
The water temperature at Skiatook Lake is about 72 degrees. Amy Cobalt with marine enforcement for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said that can be dangerous to swim in.
“It only takes just a few minutes for people if they fall overboard or end up in the water unintentionally that they would get hypothermic and be able to even make it back to the boat even if they’re just a few feet away," Cobalt said.
Safety is a top priority at the lake. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety said it investigated 55 drownings last year. Always have a life jacket and be careful around other boats.
“Be safe and be aware of your surroundings," Spencer said. "Things can happen fast on the water and it’s not worth losing a loved one over.”
Cobalt said they will be out monitoring the waters this weekend, making sure people are not operating boats or jet skis while intoxicated.
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