COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County's latest and hopefully last cold snap of the spring should be history by tomorrow, and that’s good timing for the Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol first annual Lake/Boater Community Appreciation Day. It's happening from 11am until 3pm Sunday in a tent behind the Sheriff's Department on Marshall Road. All of the patrol boats will be on display while the deputies will be there to meet and greet. The Marine Patrol said they will have food, fun, and prizes for the kids and families alike.
The U.S. Coast Guard released the latest recreational boating statistics this week and Michigan ranks No. 15 in the nation for boating accidents and No. 5 in the nation for boating fatalities, with boating mishaps causing 21 deaths in the state in 2013 alone.While across the nation, the number of boating accidents decreased 10% and the number of boating deaths decreased 14% compared to 2012, drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities, and 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. National Safe Boating Week is May 17th through May 23rd.