Lake Mead rangers prepare for 150,000 people to visit Memorial Day weekend


Park rangers at Lake Mead say they expect at least 150,000 people to cruise into the water for Memorial Day weekend.

8 News NOW road along with park rangers Friday as they prepped for the big crowd. 

“Whether it be a missing swimmer; an accident or a boat fire, we’re ready to go,” said Mark Hnat, the deputy chief ranger at Lake Mead.

According to Hnat he and his entire team are ready for the big holiday weekend because the number of visitors doubles in the area on Memorial Day weekend every year.

This year, rangers have a new tool to visitors safe.

“Because of that, we do see a lot more visitors, Hnat said. “We’ll have a full round of rangers on duty, and a boat like this we’ll have staffed and ready to go so we can respond.

Hnat says Fire Boat One is ready to tackle any emergency.  With that said, he and his crew want you to take a few personal precautions.

“If you drive a boat under the influence you will be arrested,” Hnat said.

Getting behind the wheel of a boat drunk carries the same consequences as driving a car.

Hnat also wants boaters to pay attention to the weather before hitting the water.

“If we keep a close eye on the weather forecast; like the winds that are forecasted for today, pay attention to your boat to make sure it’s in good running condition,” said Hnat.

Boaters should also never forget to grab their life vests. In fact, rangers say it’s important to keep enough life jackets on the boat for everyone.

“If you wear a lifejacket and do enter the water and decide to swim you’ll probably have a much nicer stay,” Hnat said.

Another safety tip rangers have is don’t bring any pool toys on the lake because they can fly away. Rangers say when people try to catch them they get into trouble. 

Those headed up to Lake Mead over the weekend should arrive at the park early, to find parking.

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