Rangers Perform Boat Safety Checks Out At Willard Bay State Park

Jul 3, 2021, 8:32 PM | Updated: 8:58 pm

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Utah State Park rangers urged boaters at Willard Bay State Park to be safe while out on the water this holiday weekend, especially after several drownings have been reported in the past month.

Rangers were out Saturday afternoon performing boat safety checks, while also making sure everyone was wearing a life vest.

It’s on picture perfect days like the one Saturday afternoon where Kim Walpole doesn’t need much motivation to get his boat out.

“Oh, every chance we get,” he said with a laugh. “I’m here ready to go.”

When his kids said let’s go to Willard Bay, it didn’t take long for them to get ready.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people had the same idea. However, no matter where they went, safety was coming along, which meant life vests for everyone.

“My son’s last year said, ‘I’m not going boating with you anymore, you’re just too bossy,’” said Walpole with another laugh. “I said, ‘Yeah, because it’s scary. You can really get hurt out on these boats, so you got to be really careful.'”

That’s exactly why Utah State Park rangers were at Willard Bay on Saturday.

Rangers were checking boats to make sure they’re registered and have the necessary safety equipment. After another drowning Saturday morning, this time at Deer Creek Reservoir, making almost a half dozen so far in the past month, rangers were making sure everyone had a life vest.

“We just want to make sure it stays fun and people stay safe,” said Ben Meraz, who is a Utah Park Ranger. “Twelve and under, obviously it’s required, but everyone should have it on. You think you know how to swim, but then you get out there and you don’t really know how to swim, the weather changes, the water is too cold, and you just react in different ways.”

(Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer) (Winston Armani/KSL TV Photographer)

It can be inconvenient for boaters to have these checks.

Walpole remembered when he didn’t have a necessary item a few years ago.

“They gave me a ticket,” he said.

However, he said he’s also grateful rangers are doing them.

“My brother was visiting from Florida, and he said they don’t check on us out here, so that’s pretty neat they check on you guys at these little reservoirs,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

New Harmony Fire...

Cimaron Neugebauer

Fast-acting fire crews contain New Harmony fire in southern Utah

A human-caused wildfire in southern Utah is now contained thanks to a quick response from air and ground resources, says a fire official.

23 hours ago

Raven is a trained service dog...

Erin Cox

Service animal removed from grocery store. Does the ADA allow that?

A Utah woman says her normal trip to Harmons didn't go as planned and the store broke the law by turning away her service animal.

23 hours ago

Mormon cricket...

Shara Park

Millions of Mormon crickets invade Elko, NV

Millions of Mormon crickets have descended on six counties in Nevada creating a bug-infested nightmare for many residents. 

23 hours ago

Sarah Burgess waves a crosswalk safety flag...

Shelby Lofton

Pedestrian crossing flags ‘disappearing at alarming rate’

Orange pedestrian flags at some of Salt Lake City's intersections are disappearing.

23 hours ago

Jacob Nilson, 24, of St. George is lucky to survive after crashing his motorcycle on a notorious se...

Ladd Egan

‘This corner is notorious:’ Fire chiefs warn motorcyclists about section of Gunlock Road

Fire chiefs in southern Utah are warning about a dangerous stretch of road that’s being called “Motorcycle Rock” because of the number of accidents.

23 hours ago

Jazz Bear golf tournament...

Katija Stjepovic

Golf tournament recruits mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah

Every year dozens of people hit the links to help kids cope with everyday struggles through the GOLF FORE KIDS’ SAKE! tournament.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

Rangers Perform Boat Safety Checks Out At Willard Bay State Park