Families spend the Fourth of July on the water

Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 6:51 PM EDT
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With multiple Independence Day events cancelled around the state, a lot of Vermonters are spending the holiday out on Lake Champlain. Boaters say it's one of the best days so far this year to be out on the water.

"There hasn't been that many people out recently," said John Debrul of Shelburne. "I fish a couple times a week, but today and yesterday there's a lot of people out there."

"Yea, we spent the night on the mooring last night," said Sara Pomerantz of Fayston. "We have a sailboat, so we'll be out today and probably spend the night too."

"Going to put the boat in for the first time this year and take it over to a mooring and then use it tomorrow afternoon and today," said Jeff Lyon of Burlington.

Burlington's Coast Guard will also be out on the water to ensure boater safety and to be a resource in the event of emergencies. Since the Canadian border is closed to Vermont, Petty Officer Erik Dahl says there are a lot less boaters on Lake Champlain this holiday weekend. That said, with swimmers, paddleboarders, kayakers, and boaters all in the open water, the coast guard is still standing by.

"Given the holiday weekend and the nice weather we are just planning on having an enhanced presence on the water," he said, "There's definitely a diminished traffic volume on the lake, but there's still a fair amount of boating traffic, people getting out on the water."

Keeping safety in mind, families say they're making the most of this, more family-focused July 4th.

"I think this is making everything much more personal for everybody," Debrul said. "It's a lot more family involved, and people are with their closest friends. It's an alternative to what we normally have, but it's good."

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