Fulton County boat patrol back on the water after death on Great Sacandaga Lake

MAYFIELD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After a five year absence, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is bringing back their boat patrol.

Through donations from the state and local organizations, the Sheriff’s Office was able to restore their marine.

It’s imperative to the department, in light of four recent drownings in the Capital Region.

If you are boating on one of the 44 lakes in Fulton County, expect to see something more.

After the tragic drowning on July 4 at Great Sacandaga Lake, the Sheriff’s Office is bringing back their boat patrol.

“We have not had a boat patrol in more than five years,” Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said.

That has changed. The Sheriff’s Office says it’s time to put manpower back on their lakes.

There have been four local drownings recently, one of them happening at Sacandaga Lake when 12-year-old Dominick LaFountain went under.

“While we couldn’t rescue the young boy, we were at the scene within five minutes. That makes a big difference.”

Sheriff Giardino says it’s just one reason to restore their boat patrol.

The State’s Parks and Recreation Department has loaned two jet skis. Local organizations donated funds to fix up the department’s four boats.

“Having restored the boat patrol, we are able to slow down reckless boaters and assist other boaters.”

Sheriff Giardino says he is not sure that having a boat patrol would have made a difference in the drowning of the young boy, but it couldn’t have hurt.

“Can’t always make a difference, but it does make a big difference if you’re a family member and know that we’re doing everything we can do.”

The Sheriff’s Office is also looking to restore its dive team. They say they’ve received many requests from potential volunteers.

“Probably have gotten about two dozen offers to join the dive team from volunteer members in the community, in addition to our people.”

Fulton County is considering combining forces with Saratoga County’s dive team.

It could make all the difference in an emergency.

“If you get to somebody within an hour usually, and they’re in cold water, its cold water drowning. The doctors have had success bringing people back anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.”

Fulton County’s Boat Patrol restoration was possible through donations from Great Sacandaga Lake Association, The Stewarts’ Foundation, The Mayfield Fire Association, the Taylor Made Group, Benjamin Moore, and dozens of citizen donations.

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