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Two reasons you should be cautious on Lake Michigan this weekend

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a warning to any boaters headed out to Lake Michigan for the holiday weekend.
Credit: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

As the holiday weekend approaches, boaters should operate extra caution before heading out onto the lake, the U.S. Coast Guard warns.

Anyone on Lake Michigan can expect potentially heavy seas and a law enforcement crackdown on intoxicated drivers.

Stiff breezes and potentially choppy water are in the forecast for parts of this weekend on Lake Michigan. This weather is cause for caution, and small craft advisories are expected to come. Boaters should frequently check water conditions throughout the weekend.

Also underway is Operation Dry Water, a Coast Guard campaign incepted in 2009. The program attempts to make waterways safer by removing intoxicated boaters from behind the wheel.

In its 12-year lifespan, the program has removed over 4,700 impaired boaters from the nation’s waterways. Last year, they boarded 305,466 boats and made 625 arrests.

Anyone found boating while intoxicated can expect severe consequences, including arrest, vessel impounding, fines, jail time and loss of boating privileges.

The Coast Guard also offered tips to stay safe on the water while celebrating this Independence Day weekend: stay sober, file a float plan, always wear a Coastguard approved life jacket and keep a sharp eye on the weather. More information on water conditions is available here.

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