Bridgeport Marine Unit on patrol for speeding boaters, BWI over holiday weekend
Bridgeport police will be on patrol making sure people stay safe on the water over Labor Day weekend.
The department's Marine Unit tells News 12 they will be looking out for speeding boaters and people drinking behind the wheel.
In addition to patrolling the channel, members of the Marine Unit use Jet Skis to keep an eye on swimmers.
"With drinking on a boat, you're in the sun all day and the alcohol absorbs much quicker than just drinking and driving," says Marine Officer Jason Gonvalves.
Officers say boats need to have flares, life vests for children and a working radio.
The Department of Homeland Security and Connecticut State Police are also working together to keep boaters and swimmers out of harm's way. Lt. William Simpson from Bridgewater Police Department and Commander of the Marine Unit says his crew is on duty every day, year-round. They can board boats and perform sobriety checks at any time. People found drunk driving run the risk of losing their boating license.
“If you're anchored up and have people swimming...you’ve got to watch the tides,” says Simpson. “It can go down to two feet. We've had people who have dove off and broke their necks because they don't understand the flow of the tides.”