Clark County uses new boat for first Labor Day patrol on Ohio Ri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clark County uses new boat for first Labor Day patrol on Ohio River

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- There's a fairly new addition to the Clark County Sheriff's Office that’s keeping people safe on the Ohio River.

The department got a new boat back in April, making this the first Labor Day it has been out on the river.

"Boating and alcohol seems to go hand in hand," said Captain Randy Burton with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Monday afternoon, Burton and Officer Patrick Johnson took us out on the Ohio River for their first fall holiday patrol.

The new boat came from a military surplus program and has been used every weekend since Memorial Day.

"We look for people driving boats recklessly, unsafe speeds, hitting the wakes of other boats too hard where they're actually losing control of the boat," said Burton.

Deputies take turns patrolling more than 20 miles of the Ohio River.

"The high traffic areas like from here up to Louisville and up to Bethlehem there's a lot of recreational areas," Burton said.

Officers help with mechanical failures and also make sure people aren't stranded.

“Two Saturdays ago we had a family of 10 on a pontoon trying to make it back to Madison,” said Burton. “They ran out of gas around Bethlehem so we were out until 3 in the morning towing them back.”

The sheriff’s office also uses the boat for emergencies. On July 4, Clark County recovered a teen's body after the pontoon he was in capsized. Five people died in that accident and four others were rescued.

"We cleared the channel to allow the fireworks barge to come up and then just a few minutes later is when we got the call that the boat had capsized," said Burton.

So far this year only one man’s been arrested for boating under the influence.

Captain Burton says the boat has been a dream.

"What better job can you have than to come out here and make sure people are safe, interact with people all day long, and when they're having fun you're having fun," said Burton.

The sheriff's office says it will continue to use the boat every weekend until it helps with the Iron Man competition in October.

Previous: Officials find body believed to be one of the missing boaters in Saturday's river accident

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