AUSTIN (KXAN) – Summer is almost here, and as the temperatures rise, many will be rushing to hop into one of Austin’s lakes for a cool escape from the sometimes oppressive heat. 

As we head into Memorial Day weekend though, the Austin Police Department wants to remind folks on the waterways to enjoy themselves but to do so safely. 

“It is getting hot, and people like to cool off, which we understand. But there’s a proper way to do and a non-proper way to do it,” said  Bradley Smith, Lake Patrol Unit Officer for APD.

This weekend to ensure the safety of people using the water, APD announced it will be enforcing a city ordinance that prohibits the use and operation of personal watercrafts, wet bikes, motorized surfboards and similar devices.

The ban will go into effect when the sun sets on Friday, May 26, and will end when the sun rises on Tuesday, May 30. 

“Because there is so much boat traffic [Memorial Day Weekend], it is a hazard. We had fatalities that occurred last year because of jet skis, so we want to try to prevent that,” Smith said. 

Smith said they have started a new program this year, where every Lake Patrol Unit will have two medics on board to assist people in need. 

Some common injuries APD sees during these hot summer months are people breaking limbs from falling off wakeboards or tubes. 

Further, “we have people that jump off bridges, which is not allowed on Lady Bird [Lake}, and they end up jumping in the water and land on another kayaker or paddle boarder. We’ve had that happen where they broke another person’s back or broken their face in different instances. So that’s a big concern on Lady Bird,” Smith said. 

“Have fun. I mean, that’s the main thing. But do it responsibly, have a responsible boat operator and a safe ride home,” Smith said.