Importance of boating safety this Memorial Day weekend


“I’m a veteran,” said Benjamin Spaulding an N.C. Wildlife officer. I enjoy working this weekend. I am glad I can be out here because some veterans wish they could be out here.”

Army veteran and N.C. Wildlife officer Spaulding is thankful to enforce boating laws on Memorial Day weekend.

“I been to Baghdad twice, so some of our guys didn’t make it home, so I want to be able to keep the waterways safe for those families and kids still left behind,” said Spaulding.

One way he keeps the Washington Waterfront safe is looking out for speeding boats in this no-wake zone. 

“There are millions of dollars’ worth of boats out here, and people don’t want them slamming against docks,” said Spaulding. So, we are just making sure they are at a no wake speed.”

“If it’s noticeable to the average person, that’s a big wake coming from behind the boat, that is too fast,” said Samaria Burnette, an N.C. Wildlife officer.

Fellow wildlife officer Burnette is in the Airforce reserves.

“This weekend and Memorial Day in general, it’s a thankful day for me,” said Burnette.

The two of them are among eight officers working on the weekend. 

They said it’s important each boat has a designated driver, a life jacket for every person on board, a fire extinguisher, and correct paperwork. 

Encouraging those on the water to have fun, but also remember the meaning of the holiday. 

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