D.C.

Fire department polices Potomac River

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Hundreds of boats line the Potomac River looking for the best spot to watch Monday’s fireworks.

D.C. firefighters patrol the Potomac River. (Photo: Mark Segraves)

"We got the best seat in the house,” said boater Matthew Cochran.

While it's a holiday for most people, it’s a busy work day for the police and fire departments trying to keep all of these boaters safe.

Patrolling the river from above Key Bridge down to the Wilson Bridge, including the spots where boaters say they have been watching the fireworks for years.

"It's awesome, it's something that should be on everybody's bucket list, seeing the fireworks from behind the monuments,” said Julie Williams of Woodbridge, Va.

ABC7’s Mark Seagraves was on board the John Glenn Jr., the flagship of the D.C. fire department’s river rescue team.

A few minutes of going out on patrol the boat responded to several calls, including a boat on fire and a tree that fell on two cars parked near the shore.

Most of the calls for help on the river are alcohol-related, police say. Often it's people falling over board or just slipping on the deck of the boat. Every now and then these boats will run into one another.

Some of the more seasoned boaters told us they'll be heading to shore before the fireworks to avoid the traffic jam after the fireworks

"We're gonna be off the river before dark, it gets pretty hectic out there,” said boater Ed Comitz.

Boater Mike Chandler had another plan. "We'll spend the night, we won't leave. I don't want to be playing bumper cars,” the Sterling, Va., man said.

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