LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- Cornelius Marine Patrol officers are warning boaters, kayakers and jet skiers to be safe and prepared, as Lake Norman is expected to see record crowds this summer.

NBC Charlotte rode along and spoke with officers during one of their morning patrols, including Lake Patrol Sergeant George Brinzey.

"When something happens in the water, you can't prepare for it [then]," Sgt. Brinzey said.

It's why he urged families heading into the water to thoroughly inspect their boats, kayaks and jet skis, and check the safety equipment.

While only children younger than 13 are required to wear life jackets, officers like Jeremy Sapp believe everyone should wear one.

He remembered rescuing one kayaker a few months back after he flipped into the water.

"If he would not have had a life jacket on, he probably would not have made it," Ofc. Sapp said.

The officers said families should text someone on-shore with their itinerary, who's with them and when they'll get back.