This weekend area lakes, rivers and parks will be filled with people enjoying the holiday.
The Marathon County Sheriff's Department is urging recreation lovers to keep safety in mind while celebrating Independence Day.
Lt. Mark Wagers suggests swimmers should stay in areas they're familiar with, and should never swim alone.
He says when people drown it is most often caused by someone not knowing how to swim, having a physical limitation like a muscle cramp, or alcohol.
Lt. Wagers, who also leads the Marathon County Dive and Rescue Team, says they will be ready in case of any emergency this weekend.
Boaters also need to keep safety in mind. He suggests anyone who plans to operate a boat or jet ski have a training course first. One of the most important things to remember is to stay a safe distance from other water craft.
"Especially in some of those more popular waterways, they can be quite congested, people need to exercise common sense," he said.
Drinking and boating is never okay, he says, and whoever is driving must remain sober.
Deputies and DNR wardens will be patrolling area bodies of water this weekend.
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