Officials Urge Residents to be Safe Over Labor Day Weekend

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The unofficial last weekend of summer is here, which means hundreds of families will be out on the water.

Doung Nguyen and his family traveled all the way from California to the Coast for Labor Day weekend. Nguyen says, "We just want to go out and cruise and see the islands, since the last time I’ve been here was 2008."

Even though Nguyen is from out of town, he still understands the importance of boat safety. Nguyen also says, "That’s why we want to make sure the kids have the life jackets or something. We’re waiting for a family member to bring more because we forgot some."

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The Coast offers a range of water activities, from sailing to deep sea fishing. Captain Frank Becker just took over his dad’s charter boat business. He’s hoping for a fun weekend. Becker says, "There’s a lot of boats running, including myself. We’ll be out there, go out there have a good time. A lot of people are coming down for one last hoorah for the summer."

The number one goal for Becker is to bring everyone he takes out back home safely. Becker also says, "The majority of us, we all take our jobs very seriously and this is our livelihood, and we need to make sure everyone is safe."

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (M.D.M.R.) will also be out on the water in full force, making sure boaters are having fun responsibly. Melissa Scallan, Public Information Officer for M.D.M.R., says, "We just want to remind people to have all of your safety equipment on board, your personal floatation devices, your navigational aids, you know, fire extinguisher that kind of thing. If you have that, have a plan tell someone when you’re going and heading back."

So whether you’re barbequing in the back yard, or going out on the boat, be sure to have fun and stay safe. The M.D.M.R. will be patrolling all coastal waters from the rivers to the Gulf.