Photo: Mohave County Sheriff’s Office

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lake Mead was not the only busy waterway in our area. Lake Mohave and the Colorado River, south of the Hoover Dam, were filled with boaters and people looking to relax, party, and celebrate Independence day.

But the holiday weekend also became busy for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department patrolling the water.

Over the long weekend, deputies and paramedics responded to one near-drowning, four boat crashes in which two involved injuries, a boat fire, and several other medical assist calls.

Several of the incidents were fueled by high winds blowing boats away or toward people according to the sheriff’s department.

Search and rescue was also called in to help find a missing passenger who fell off a personal watercraft and could not be seen by the operator.

After an extensive search, the passenger was found alive. Deputies say the passenger had fallen off the back of the personal watercraft in the middle of the lake and the operator had not noticed. The operator was arrested for operating under the influence.

The passenger survived swimming in the middle of the lake because they were wearing a life jacket, according to the department. The passenger was eventually spotted and picked up by people on a passing boat.

Over the holiday weekend, deputies were 9in contact with 348 boaters, wrote 59 boating citations, made 15 arrests for reckless operation of a watercraft, and arrested two subjects for operating under the influence.