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U.S. Coast Guard urges extra vigilance this holiday weekend

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The U.S. Coast Guard based in Milwaukee issued a news release Friday urging boaters on Lake Michigan to use extra caution this weekend.

It says a stiff breeze will create high seas making conditions ripe for the posting of small craft advisories across sections of the big lake.

The Coast Guard is also alerting mariners that its increasing law enforcement. It says boating under the influence is the leading contributor to recreational boating fatalities. Operation Dry Water focuses on reducing water fatalities involving drug and alcohol-related incidents.

In 2020, the Coast Guard and assisting agencies boarded more than 305,000 vessels making 625 boating under the influence arrests.

This weekend the Coast Guard is asking boaters stay sober, file a float plan, wear an approved life jacket and monitor weather conditions.