By Jessica Mathews /

Livingston County residents are being encouraged to keep water safety in mind this holiday weekend.

Whether fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, swimming or tubing down a river, people are reminded to stay safe and be alert. Sergeant Dan Knapp with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division says when it comes to enforcement on local lakes; they just remind everyone to put safety first. He says they ask people follow basic boating laws – stressing they want people to have a good time and enjoy the water but do so safely.

Knapp says to make sure everyone on board a vessel has a personal flotation device that properly fits and it not old or ripped. He says those should also be out of any packaging because things happen quickly out on the water. Knapp says boaters should follow the counter-clockwise rule around lakes. He noted a lot of the population on lakes now is personal watercrafts, which can dart out quickly so people should be on the lookout. Knapp reminds to always check the weather before heading out because storms can build in a matter of seconds and people need to be able to get off the water safely. He added it’s also important to let others know your destination and who you’ll be with.

Meanwhile for those planning to spend time by bigger bodies of water including the Great Lakes, it’s important to heed beach warnings. After heavy water traffic throughout the state over the 4th of July holiday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says conservation officers are preparing to patrol another busy holiday weekend.