Upped patrol on Smith Mountain Lake for Fourth of July week

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The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is upping their patrol on Smith Mountain Lake for the holiday week according to a member of the Smith Mountain Lake Power Squad.

“This will be a big week for them,” said Randy Stow, educational officer for the Smith Mountain Lake Power Squad.

“They’re bringing in extra people to cover the land based activities so the people that work here permanently can focus on the lake.”

Stow says the lake can expect to see up to 1,000 boats for the holiday, and boaters should take precaution.

“Historically, there are more instances on Smith Mountain Lake than other bodies of water in Virginia,” said Stow.

“That’s not because people are less safe here, it’s because we are very congested. We have a lot of boats. Anywhere you have a lot of boats, from time to time they run into each other.”

Stow says Franklin County and Bedford County Sheriff’s departments will be on the lake as well as the Coast Guard auxiliary team to assist with traffic control.

Stow says on Saturday, the power squad will also establish a one-mile radius around fireworks to encourage people to enter and exit the area with caution.

“Keep a very active lookout,” said Stow.

“You want to know whose around you and what they’re doing. So that you can avoid if them if they are perhaps not avoiding you. You want to know what’s going on.”

Stow recommends to never drink and boat and to always have a lifejacket for each person on board.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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