MILLERSPORT, OH (WCMH) – It’s been a few years since families have enjoyed being on Buckeye Lake for the Fourth of July.
While the fireworks have been cancelled again this year because of construction and safety concerns, boaters and fisherman alike still took to the water to enjoy the holiday.
“We’re just getting the jet skis out for the first time in a couple years, going to enjoy Buckeye Lake,” said Greg Miller.
For the Miller family, it’s been three years since they’ve been to Buckeye Lake. With their life jackets on and ready to go, they’re excited to celebrate the Fourth on the water.
“It would not be the Fourth of July without fishing,” said fisherman Jacques McCoy.
Fisherman said old hot spots are getting better.
“One of my sons told me it was picking up here and I’d say this year I’ve been up here about five times and so far have not regret it,” said fisherman and army veteran Anthony Goodwin Sn.
He said it’s a day to enjoy our freedoms and relax.
“As Americans, we should join together on days like this and come together, peaceful, peaceful and have a great time,” said Goodwin.
On the other side of the lake, veterans at the Buckeye Lake VFW Post 1388 are celebrating the Fourth with a new flagpole dedication, reminding the public what the holiday is truly about.
“I would hope that they would remember the sacrifice that the United States military made so they can enjoy their day on the lake,” said senior vice commander Irvin Small. “The United States military service members gave them the right and the freedom to celebrate the Fourth of July anyway they want to.”
Safety out on the lake
“They’re happy. We’re happy, so it’s all turning out good,” said ODNR Ofc. Jack Manley.
He said make sure life jackets are the proper size for whoever is wearing them.
“In reference to life jackets, they’re a lot like seat belts they don’t work if you don’t wear them,” said Ofc. Manley.
He suggests packing all safety gear onto your boat before leaving and once you’re out on the lake, keep a lookout for potential hazards.
“Just pay attention to the buoys out there and also the orange markers,” said Ofc. Manley. “That’s where a dredge line is. but it is sunk below the surface.”
Ofc. Manley said boating and drinking do not mix. He said one can of beer on the lake is equivalent to three on shore, after you factor in dehydration, waves and the elements.
He said no matter where you go to get out on the water, read up about the area beforehand.
“Do a little research before you go out to a different lake. Not necessarily Buckeye Lake, but a different lake because the environments are different,” said Ofc. Manley. “Buckeye Lake is a shallow lake and if you get into a wrong area you might hit a stump or something like that.”