CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On land, things were generally calm over the 4th of July—even with the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says they received fewer calls this holiday weekend than last year.
They handled 495 calls in 2021 compared to 563 in 2020.
The Charleston Police Department reports 26 arrests for multiple offenses, only one was for a DUI.
Jackson County Sheriff Ron Mellinger called the Fourth of July “eerily quiet.”
But on water — it was a different story.
West Virginia DNR officers patrolling in Clay, Nicholas, and Braxton counties say they issued 15 citations and 30 warnings.
But their big problem area was at Summersville Lake where they made five ‘boating under the influence’ or BUI arrests.
“We have seen an increase in our BUI’s over the last couple of years specifically in Summersville Lake,” said DNR Officer William McGraw.
McGraw says their main goal is to make sure people are out enjoying the waterways and boater safety, and there’s one violation they saw a lot over the weekend that can quickly get you a ticket.
“Individuals who don’t have enough PFDs (personal floating devices) or lifejackets on their vessel, or children that are 12 and under that are on these vessels that do not have these lifejackets or PFDs on,” said McGraw.
DNR Sgt. Christopher Fitzwater estimates in total they came across 300 boaters and kayakers and 200 vessels over the weekend.
As the summer continues they expect to see more boaters on the waterways and they’ll keep patrolling.