Seafair safety a top priority this weekend

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 3 at 5:33 PM

Police will be joining crowds of boaters on Lake Washington this weekend for Seafair -- not to party and watch the Blue Angels, but to make sure everyone stays safe.

"Although I love the Blue Angels and I love watching them, we have a duty to enforce the boating safety laws," said Sgt. Erik Olson, with Fish and Wildlife.

This year, there will be officers from the U.S. Coast Guard, Mercer Island Police, the Washington State Patrol as well as Fish and Wildlife patrolling the water and looking for potentially dangerous situations.

Officers will be looking especially for boat drivers who are drinking; dozens of boating under the influence violations were issued at Seafair last year.

They will also be looking for unsupervised children in dangerous situations, especially around boat motors that are engaged with people in the water.

"This many boats this close together it can cause a lot of problems, a lot of safety issues," said Olson. 

Don't forget, all boat drivers under the age of 40 need a valid Washington boaters license. Officers will also be out checking those.

Overall, officers stress boaters need to have a designated driver, monitor alcohol consumption, stay alert, and follow all Washington boating laws. Click here to read the Washington boaters handbook.

Info on Blue Angels, Navy ships, Seafair and more:

I-90 closures for Blue Angels

Drivers faced with 520 tolls as Blue Angels close I-90

Navy ships tours, Blue Angels information for Seafair

Weather Minds: Will the Blue Angels be able to do their high show?

Viewer photos: Blue Angels practice

Extended video: Blue Angels practice over Lake Washington

Photos: Scenes from the Seafair Parade of Ships

Could budget cuts ground Blue Angels Seafair show?

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