DEWITT COUNTY - Officials from the D. N. R. were out in full force on Sunday, making sure boaters at Clinton Lake were staying safe. The courtesy checks come just a couple months after three people died on these same waters after their boat went over a spillway.
"We want to make sure they have all the proper safety equipment." says Conservation Officer Ray Wichus "We want to make sure they have all the knowledge possible to keep them safe out on the lake so that nothing can ruin a real good day of recreation." "Oh, it's an excellent idea." Says Heyworth resident Sue Custer whose husband elected to undergo the complimentary boat check. "They can never do too much to make this lake safe."
D.N.R. officers were checking for such materials as life vests, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment. But if someone didn't have a specific item such as a life vest or two, then they could find themselves on the docks and out of the water. "We will not let them go out on the water if they’re short life jackets or missing fire extinguishers or anything like that" says Wichus.
As a general rule Wichus says he and his officers don't allow children 13 years old or younger in the water without a life vest on.