Boaters and Jet Skiers Try to be More Cautious on the River
YAKIMA, Wa - Many people headed out to the Roza Recreation Site to escape the heat on July 4th. The drunk boating accident that put a jet skier in the hosptial in critical condition didn't stop them from getting out on the water, but they say they were thinking about it.
Chad Bradley says he's been coming here since he was old enough to water ski.
"I don't drink and boat. I come up here to barbecue and be with friends," he says.
Bradley brought friends and family up to the canyon to celebrate the July 4th holiday, but says he hasn't forgotten about what happened on Sunday.
"It's a wake up call. Safety first."
Bradley comes up every weekend and hits the river in the morning when its less crowded. Just a couple jetskis and a boat can be tricky to navigate.
"It gets pretty crowded with eight or ten jet skis and a few boats out there," says Bob Moriarity, a jet skier.
Add alcohol to the mix and it can be deadly. One boater has an idea to solve the problem.
"If you could have boaters on even days and jet skiers on odd days, it would eliminate a lot of the crowding," says Les Simonds, a boater out water skiing with his family.
Bradley says he just tries to beat the rush, and if he thinks someone is drinking and boating, that's when he calls it a day.
"There's always one in every group. You've just got to steer clear," says Bradley.
Boaters and jet skiers who go out to the Roza Recreation Site on regular basis say that gas prices are causing more people to come than normal. They want to save money and so they stay closer to home which crowds the river. Add alcohol to the mix and they say it can be a deadly combination.