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Conservation Police Anticipate Busy Weekend on SML - abc27 WHTM

Conservation Police Anticipate Busy Weekend on SML

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Smith Mountain Lake, VA - Conservation Police officers were on Smith Mountain Lake early Friday and will continue to patrol throughout the holiday weekend.

There was already one incident on Smith Mountain Lake before 10 a.m. on Friday. A woman on a personal water craft broke her leg, according to Conservation Police.

With July 4 falling on a Friday this year, officers anticipate a busier than usual three-day holiday weekend.  There were many boaters on the lake before noon Friday. An accident happened before 10 a.m. in the Gills Creek area.  A woman on a personal water craft broke her leg and was taken to the hospital.

The holiday weekend follows last weekend's "Operation Dry Water", where enforcement efforts focused on reminding people not to drink and operate boats.  More than 100 boats were checked, but there were only two arrests for operating under the influence.  Sgt. Bryan Young said it seems the 'designated operator' message is getting through.

"They understand that someone needs to be responsible and operate the boat all night and that individual needs to stay alcohol free," said Young.

Starting July 1, anyone 45 years of age or younger must complete a boater education course before operating a boat in Virginia.  Anyone operating a personal water craft must complete mandatory boater education, regardless of age.

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