Benton County Sheriff's Office starting boating patrols this wee - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Sheriff's Office starting boating patrols this weekend

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KENNEWICK, WA. -- Since the weather is shaping up for the holiday weekend, a lot of you may be getting ready to head for the water.

Memorial Day weekend is a big weekend to get your boat out of the garage and onto the water. But before you start up your engine for the first time this year, Benton County Sheriff Deputies want you to keep several things in mind so you're safe.

I know you're excited but don't just put your boat directly into the water and go this weekend.

"Look at your boat, check the engine compartment, make sure all the linkages, all the hoses are clamped," Deputy J.P. Benitez said. "Just because all the winter temperatures especially if they're stored outside can actually cause damage to all those components."

We rode along with Benton County Sheriff's Deputies this afternoon while they performed their first day of routine boats checks this season.

"Let's have a chat because his numbers run on," Deputy Benitez said. 

This guy was on his way to go cat fishing when we saw him. The problem was his hull numbers didn't have a break in them.

"He recently acquired the boat. and we gave him a vessel inspection," Deputy Benitez said. "There's a lot of things missing with the boat that need to be handled. and his engine isn't starting now, perhaps a good reason we contacted him as well."

Besides engine problems, drivers have to be very careful when having a beer on the water. 

"The effects of alcohol on water are three times more potent that they are on land," Deputy Benitez said. "You're dealing with the sun, you're dealing with the wind, you're dealing with the movement of the boat itself."

More and more people are coming here to enjoy our beautiful waters. 

"We're regionally know as a great place to just enjoy your boat," Deputy Benitez said. 

And Benton County Sheriff's Deputies want to keep it that way this summer.