Boaters told to follow no wake rules

wwny Boaters told to follow no wake rules

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - We took a tour of the St. Lawrence River with the U.S. Coast Guard based out of Wellesley Island.

It’s no secret the water levels are high, swallowing docks and boat houses.

We were moving slowly around 5 miles an hour and the coast guardsmen say that’s what every boater needs to be doing.

“Take it slow, take your time,” said Ryan Pelchat, marine enforcement specialist 2nd class, Coast Guard.

Pelchat says when waters get this high, there could be hazards like rocks hiding underneath the water’s surface. And there’s more debris floating by. To stay safe and to protect the shoreline, boaters are required to follow no wake rules.

“Wake causes damage. It causes damage to property, land, others people’s boats. People could also be swimming, kayaking, you name it,” said Pelchat.

On the St. Lawrence River the no wake zone is 300 feet from shore. On Lake Ontario, it’s 1,000 feet.

Following those no wake rules is important. It’s expected to be nice weather this weekend, which means plenty of boats on the water.

In villages like Alexandria Bay, shops are ready for an uptick in tourism.

“We need people to come and enjoy this beautiful day like today. We need boaters out here. We just need them to be aware of the no wake zones and enjoy themselves,” said Phil Reed, District 3 county legislator.

Reed says a number of businesses here have invested time and money to ensure they’re ready for customers.

"Communities along Lake Ontario, Thousand Islands, and St. Lawrence River are ready and open for business.

They’re making adjustments with great hope for a tourism season that’s coming up fast.

Meanwhile, out on the water the message is take it slow.

Coast Guard officials are also reminding boaters to wear their life jackets - one life jacket for each person on the vessel.

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