GRDA Police offer tips for river floaters ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

May 25, 2023

Headed for these scenic waters of the Illinois River for the long Memorial Day Weekend? If so, the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department is reminding you to float safe, smart, and sober.

The Grand River Dam Authority Police Department wants to remind those heading to the scenic Illinois River for the Memorial Day holiday of some important information that can help promote a safe time on the water.

“We encourage everyone to come out and have a great time,” said GRDA Corporate Spokesperson Justin Alberty. “But it is important to remember that safe, enjoyable outings always start with floating safe, smart and sober.”

Alberty added that GRDA is proud to join with the National Safe Boating Council to recognize May 20 – 26 as National Safe Boating Week, as the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being responsible.

Of course, safe, and responsible boating and floating always begins with proper life jacket use. According to statistics from the United States Coast Guard, drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2021 (latest data available) and 83 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. That is why the GRDA Police continue to stress the importance of life jackets all year-round.

As you visit the scenic Illinois River during the holiday weekend, or anytime throughout the year, keep these safety tips in mind:

For more information, contact the GRDA Scenic River Operations office at (918) 456 3251. The office is located at 15971 N. Highway 10 in Tahlequah. For an emergency on the water, please call 911. The GRDA Police Department’s non-emergency number is 918-256-0911. You can also find information about the river under the “Scenic River” section on