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Authorities urge safety on Lake Mead during holiday weekend

Molly Waldron

Authorities urge safety on Lake Mead during holiday weekend

CREATED May. 24, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Thousands of people will head to Lake Mead this weekend, and authorities are reminding visitors to exercise caution.

Last year, more than 300,000 people visited the lake on Memorial Day Weekend. 

"It's going to be a long weekend, so we're going to enjoy the lake here," said Manal Alaskari. "You know, an adventure for the kids." 

Alaskari and her family got to Lake Mead early Friday morning. But before she let the kids on the boat, she made sure they had life jackets on.

Lieutenant Michael Maynard is happy to hear that, because he knows not everyone on the lake takes the proper precautions.

"Most people out here are recreational boaters, it's not like they boat for a living," he said.

Officials say most of the fatalities on the lake could be prevented if people wore their life jackets. 

"A lot of people drown fairly close to safety," Lt. Maynard said. "They overestimate what they can do. On a body of water like a lake, even a slight breeze can inhibit their ability to's not like swimming in a swimming pool."

Alcohol is another thing Lt. Maynard will be watching out for.

"A lot of the people I've pulled out of the water that drowned, alcohol was a big factor," he said. "You can smell it coming off their bodies when you pull them out." 

He hopes that won't be an issue this year. Alaskari says it won't be on her boat.

"Safety comes first," she said. "If you want to have fun, be safe."