CONESUS LAKE− An interview on Thursday, August 16 with the Conesus Lake Marine Patrol unit revealed a bountiful amount of knowledge pertaining to law enforcement on the water.
Local retired police deputy Doug Morsch explained the various procedures, endeavors, and situations that are present when dealing with an alternative element in relation to police work.
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“Anything that a road patrol can handle, plus some” says Morsch when asked about the nature of the work he is often presented with. Though police work is generally reserved for illegal activity on dry land, the Conesus Lake Marine Patrol maintains a constant watch over the waves, aiding fellow citizens and enforcing the law when necessary. Initiated in the 60’s, the Marine Patrol was created to keep a more watchful eye on the water and provide faster and more efficient police service in response to accidents along the shoreline. Morsch, a 34 year veteran, has been with the Marine Patrol for four seasons and volunteers with other members teaching a boater’s safety course at Vitale Park. The course has been quite successful, with over 5,000 certified, and is offered all year round free of charge.
“Disabled vessels, boater training, fires, storms, drownings” (though thankfully there have been none this year) are but a few of the unique scenarios the marine patrol deals with. Incidents such as two sailboats that capsized on August 5 and a boat fire earlier this summer have been some of the more extreme cases this year. Despite the severity of these incidents, Deputy Morsch commented that situations pertaining to safety on the lake have dramatically decreased as a direct result of the efforts of the marine patrol. “Safety is our first priority” added Morsch as he continued to list the off the most important points to remember about boater safety; “Carry a cell phone, always have enough regulation PFD’s in working order for every individual on your water craft, check the weather, and above all, use common sense.”