Good weather, large crowds and, most importantly, safe outings.
That is how the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department is summing up the recent extended July 4 holiday on Grand and Hudson lakes. For many visitors, the festivities kicked off as early as last Wednesday evening and lasted right on through Independence Day and into the weekend.
“With July 4 falling on a Thursday, it really allowed a lot of people to enjoy an extra long visit to the lakes,” said GRDA Assistant General Manager/Chief of Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Brian Edwards. “However, even with the heavier traffic and extended outings, we had no major incidents.”
In reviewing the weekend, Edwards credited the GRDA Police Department for its efforts at promoting safe boating during perhaps the busiest boating weekend of the year.
“I have heard that several businesses around the lake set new records, and I think we would agree with that, based on the number of boats we saw on the lake,” he said, adding that GRDA officers and dispatch personnel worked long hours on the water, in the air and in the dispatch center to help support safe boating.
“This is part of the overall GRDA mission,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “Promoting safe boating and managing the waters of premier Oklahoma recreation destinations like Grand and Hudson lakes is not only good for lake visitors but also good for economic development in the region. Events like this recent July 4 holiday really illustrate just how well all of that can work together.”
A proactive approach to managing crowds, many hours spent making sure equipment is in proper shape, and experienced employees were all important contributors, added Edwards. Meanwhile, officers also continued to encouraging safe, smart and sober boating through the holiday, just as they have done all summer long.
“We handed out a lot of T-shirts, as part of the ‘I Got Caught’ life jacket campaign,” said Edwards. “It was encouraging to see so many boaters wearing their life jackets.”