ALEA urges boat safety for upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - If you’re planning to head to the lake on the 4th of July weekend, put safety first.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency wants to urge all boaters to use extra caution during the upcoming holiday weekend.

It’s a time when many will be out on the water, some maybe indulging a little too much.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency wants you to have a great time this 4th of July, but they want you to stay safe on the boat and in the water.

“You know we’ve had 39 boating accidents reported in Alabama this year so far. We’ve had eight fatalities, 22 injuries and over 1.5 million dollars in property damage.”

If you don’t have a life jacket for everyone on the boat, a fire extinguisher, visual signaling devices, or a throwable flotation device, then you are not ready to leave the dock with your boat.

The days leading up to the 4th of July are one of the busiest weekends on lakes worldwide, but corporal Jake Smith says even if gas prices are high, people will make the trip out to enjoy the sun, water and company.

“Just because you are doing everything right doesn’t mean someone else is going to follow the same suit, so you want to make sure you are staying visualant watching everybody around you.”

Senior trooper Corey Robinett says that being out in the sun all day can add to the effect of alcohol on a boater’s awareness and ability to operate the boat.

“One of the leading contributors to crashes out here on the waterways is alcohol use, and it’s the same limit as it is on the roadways point zero eight.”

Smith says everyone should be out of the water and back on their boats as the sun sets. It can be dangerous for those at night to be on any tubes or toys. He says if you plan to watch fireworks from your boat, ensure everything works for nighttime.

“Before sunset hits, you want to make sure that all your navigational lights work, do a good check before you get out on your boat. Make sure everything is operational.”

For more information, click here.

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