CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Memorial Day kicks off boater season and it looks like there will be a lot of traffic both on land and at sea this weekend.
A North Carolina Wildlife officer said he was already seeing people jump-starting their weekend and he has tips on how to have a fun and safe holiday.
“I’m glad that I am not going to be here. There’s really going to be a lot of people there.” Boater Glenn Thornton said.
Thornton came to Pleasure Island earlier today. He said he wanted to avoid the crowds and possibility of bad weather.
“There is going to be a lot of agencies on the water this weekend. North Carolina Wildlife Officer Clayton Ludwick said. “Come rain or shine, people are still going to want to be on the water and we’ll be out there helping protect the public.”
Ludwick said Memorial Day is the kickoff to boater season. A holiday of fun, but also of caution.
“Slow down,” Ludwick said. “There’s going to be a lot of boats and a lot of traffic. Just take it easy be aware of your surroundings. If your not necessarily the greatest boater, or don’t feel comfortable, this is not the weekend to learn to become a good boater.”
Thornton said even though he will not be on the water this weekend, to remember one thing if you are.
“Patience,” Thornton said. “Just be friendly, give it a minute and be like a neighbor to someone.”
Of course, remember not to drink and drive, even on the water.
“They have to think about the added stressors that come with that,” Ludwick said. “The wind, the waves amd the sun it takes a lot out of you if you are just constantly drinking alcohol. That’s going to have an impact.”
According to NC Wildlife, there have already been 13 deaths across the state on the water this year. So make sure to pay attention and stay alert if you are out on the water this weekend.