Coast Guard Sees Busiest Fourth of July Since 2016

"It was a busy, busy time. They said it was the most we’ve had in five years."

U.S. Coast Guard crews throughout the Great Lakes say this year marks their busiest Independence Day weekend years.

The holiday weekend brought tens of thousands of people out on the water. And as always, members of the Coast Guard were standing by to help when called.Coast Guard

The Coast Guard conducted more than 100 search and rescue operations. It says they saved or assisted more than 300 people throughout the Great Lakes region. Calls included everything from capsized boats and boat collisions to struggling swimmers and drownings.

There were two deaths on the Great Lakes over the holiday weekend.

For Air Station Traverse City, false alarms are common–especially when paddle boards or kayaks come loose off shore and drift out to the middle of the lake. LTJG Alyssia LaMonaca is with Public Affairs at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City.

She says, “When we were on duty this weekend we had a paddleboard and a kayak that a sailboat had found. (They) reported it to the Coast Guard. Obviously, we’re going to treat that as if someone was with it. Maybe they’re a person in the water.”

The Coast Guard says you should label your watercraft with a name and phone number so that, if it’s found adrift, they can verify whether you’re actually in trouble. Or if the watercraft is just lost, they can return your property to you.

Already this year, the USCG says they’re about 200 search-and-rescue cases ahead of last year’s pace.