Boating, trouble down during festival

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM

“It was pretty uneventful,” Michigan Department of Natural Resources Officer Ivan Perez said after the finale weekend.

Perez said state conservation officers helped at Grand Haven State Park, and then jumped into boats to help patrol the fireworks crowd. He said the only thing that stood out was the arrest of an apparently intoxicated driver of a personal watercraft who kept going into the swimming area at the state park.

Between the Coast Guard, DNR and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department Marine Patrol, Coast Guard Petty Officer Dustin McClelland

of Station Grand Haven said there were only three drunk boating arrests on Saturday.

“We conducted a lot of vessel safety boardings,” he said.

Officers boarded 40 boats over the weekend. McClelland said they see more and more boats showing vessel safety inspection stickers.

“We’ll just check life jackets and send them on their way,” he said.

McClelland said the number of boats on the water this past weekend was definitely lower than normal.

“The last two years I’ve done this, it was warmer and there were a lot more boats,” he noted.

The water temperature this past weekend sometimes dipped into the 40s. Air temperatures in the 60s gradually warmed to the mid and upper 70s as the week progressed. Rain stayed away, allowing every festival event to go on as scheduled.

“Overall, and considering the number of people, it was a very safe festival,” Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said.

Incidents reported over the weekend in Grand Haven included:

Assault/fight – 11

Disturbance – 10

Alcohol-related/intoxicated/drunken driving – 12

Larceny – 7

Property damage – 2

Crashes – 3

Resist/obstruct a police officer – 1

Trespassing – 1

Miscellaneous arrest – 9

Medical emergency – 5

Lost/found children reunited with caregiver – 4

Lost/found property – 9

General assistance, including lockouts – 9

Parking complaints – 15

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