ALEA increasing water patrols for Fourth of July weekend

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s marine police are gearing up for what they expect to be a busy holiday weekend on the water. While our lakes and rivers are a fun destination, they can also be dangerous.

“We’ve had 39 boating accidents reported in Alabama this year so far. We’ve had eight fatalities, 22 injuries,” said Cpl. Jake Smith.

One of the leading contributors to boat crashes is alcohol. That’s why ALEA is calling water patrols happening this weekend “Operation Dry Water.”

“About every fatality crash that in my experience that I’ve worked has involved alcohol use as a contributor to that crash,” said senior trooper Corey Robinett.

ALEA says illegal activity spotted on during the Memorial Day holiday forced them to increase patrols for this coming holiday weekend. They want you to play it safe. Remember, you need to have a life jacket for everyone on board your boat. If you have a child under the age of 8, they must wear a life jacket at all times.

“Have a type of throwable device on board your vessel, fire extinguisher that’s operable, and wear your kill switch when you’re operating your boat,” said Robinett.

He says his biggest piece of advice is to be courteous to other boaters. Also, if you are new to boating, ALEA says this is not the weekend to get on the water.

You can find more tips and resources here.

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