NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police will be out in full force over the holiday weekend to help keep state citizens safe.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) issued a reminder for residents to wear a life jacket if they plan to head out on the water on memorial day weekend.

A life jacket can save a life as Connecticut had nine boating fatalities last year.

“Last year was probably one of the worst years we’ve seen,” Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police Captain Keith Williams said. “I think we had four, five just on Easter weekend alone.”

This year there has already been a fatality in which the person was not wearing a life jacket or a personal flotation device.

“Probably 98% of them are because people aren’t wearing life jackets when it’s warm,” Williams said.

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The air may be warm but the water is not and hypothermia can complicate an even more desperate situation.

“If you’ve ever tried to put a life jacket on while you’re treading water, keeping your head above water, making sure you don’t inhale any water, it’s really difficult,” said Wendy Flynn, an analyst for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

According to officials, boaters need one life jacket on board per passenger. If a person is 12 years old or younger, they have to wear a life jacket on a boat.

Officials said anyone who rides in a boat without a motor, must wear a life jacket at all times.

Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police strongly suggest residents wear their personal flotation devices all year long.

“Never drink and boat it’s never a good thing,” Williams said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) wants to make sure a day on the water doesn’t turn tragic.