Lake Martin boaters beware; new ‘no wake zone’ in place

Boaters beware; 'No wake zone' in effect on Lake Martin

TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - It won’t be long now before the waters at Lake Martin begin lapping the shoreline, clear signs and sounds the 44,000 acre lake has done its job once again; lure vacationers looking for fun and games, but there is an area covering about a 100-yard radius that’s off limits to any kind of wake.

"There are an awful lot of boats on this lake and it’s get crowded in the channel, “ said Lake Martin Resource Alliance Executive Director John Thompson.

Thompson and his team have already dropped buoys near the bridge to Ridge Island, or as some around here call it the ‘bridge to nowhere,’ in the central part of Lake Martin.

Buoys like these were dropped on Lake Martin to alert boaters of the "no wake zone"
Buoys like these were dropped on Lake Martin to alert boaters of the "no wake zone" (Source: WSFA 12 News)

”We get an awful lot of complaints about people traveling much too fast," Thompson said.

This wasn’t the alliance’s decision. That belonged to marine police. A discussion that started before the fatal boating accident a few weeks ago.

“We decided to go ahead and make it a no wake zone in an effort to prevent any further accidents," said Senior State Trooper Frank Cartwright.

Marine police say they’re serious about enforcing the new “no wake zone” especially when you consider more than 10,000 boaters will be on the lake during the Memorial Day weekend.

Randy Kirkland dropped the buoys this week, anchored down in 120-pound concrete buckets.

“Put them in areas where people can see them in plenty of time to slow down," said Kirkland who is also a member of the Lake Martin Resource Alliance.

In all there are 10 no wake zones on Lake Martin. The one near the bridge is the newest one. Some have gotten the message while others seem to be asleep at the wheel at the new designation, creating unwanted waves in the channel.

Troopers say the cause of that fatal accident on Lake Martin near the bridge remains under investigation tonight although they did say at the time alcohol was probably a factor.

Violating the new “no wake zone” could earn you a $175 fine.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.