Lake Martin officials prep for busy season, urge caution from boaters
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - The tide is turning at Lake Martin. As it gets warmer outside, more folks are taking to the water.
“It used to be Memorial Day to Labor Day was that busy time on the lake, but it’s beautiful now,” said Brandy Hastings, executive director of the Lake Martin Tourism Association. “That season has really extended.”
The tourism group reports an increase in visitors over the past couple of years, even during the pandemic. Officials expect this season to be no different.
“I know that a lot of places are already starting to book up for the summer,” Hastings added.
More people on the water means more people behind the wheel. Boating season is back. One of the ways boaters can stay safe is by obeying the buoys.
“The buoys are warning you to stay at least 100 feet away,” said John Thompson, president of the Lake Martin Resource Association.
The group is responsible for putting the “No Wake” and “Hazardous Area” buoys out on the water.
Right now, they have over 400 installed across the lake. That is around 400 spots boaters should show caution.
“It’s extremely important to have particularly the hazardous area buoys because they warn of any kind of underwater hazard that may be beneath the surface,” Thompson said.
That includes rock formations, tree stumps, to even entire sandbars which could ruin your boat or injure you. He added the “No Wake” buoys are also crucial.
“There’s areas that you should not have a wake behind your boat,” he said.
Nearby boaters may be filling their tanks with gasoline, or the waves could cause boats to slam against the dock. Swimmers could also be in the water.
“Slow down and be courteous, be respectful of your fellow boaters and just pay attention to what you’re doing,” Thompson said.
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