TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Boaters on Taylorsville Lake say getting out on the water is the best way to mark the unofficial start to summer.

“I've been boating for years and there's three holidays you don't miss as a boat owner: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend,” Jeff Alexander said.

Wind in your hair, water and sunshine. Boaters say that's the recipe for a proper Memorial Day weekend, but Sgt. Scott Herndon says there's one thing you better not include in that recipe on Taylorsville Lake.

“One of the biggest things is alcohol and water doesn’t mix. This is a public place. Alcohol is not meant to be out here and if we find you under the influence we will arrest.”

As you start up the boat for the first time, Sgt. Herndon says leave the beer at home.

“A lot of times people will try to sink them on us and they will and then we charge them for criminal littering,” Sgt. Herndon said.

Leave the beer at home, but be sure to pack your safety items.

“Your fire extinguisher could have gone down over the winter time. Check to make sure you have a fully charged fire extinguisher,” Sgt. Herndon said.

“Before we get in, every single time, we make sure we have everything. We have life jackets. We have all of our safety precautions, the horn, the signal, everything we need in case something goes bad. Including a paddle because you never know when you're going to need to paddle,” Alexander said.

Each person on board needs to have a size appropriate life jacket. You can find the size specifications listed on the inside.

“Make sure your life jackets fit the people who are on board the boat. Anybody under the age of 12 has to have their life jacket on while the boat is underway,” Sgt. Herndon said.

Officials say there's a dangerous incident out on the water every weekend.

They've seen alcohol, drugs, domestics and fatalities, especially during the holidays.

Last year, five people were killed in a boating incident on the Fourth of July on the Ohio River.

To try to keep you safe out on the water, you'll see officer’s patrolling.  They're looking for your boat registration, driver’s license, fishing license, and your common sense.

“A boat is not like a car. You can't stop it on an instant. It's less maneuverable than a car and you just have to use a little more caution and common sense with a boat,” Sgt. Herndon said.

The most important rule on the lake is to have all of your safety equipment here on board, know where it's located and how to use it.

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