ALEA urges boaters to practice social distancing on the water


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — In recent days, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Troopers have seen the number of boaters spike on Alabama waterways including Lake Tuscaloosa.

Trooper Freddie Ingram says many are not practicing social distancing and ALEA is urging boaters to play it smart and be careful.

“We want you to try to keep your occupancy on your boat under 10 people,” Ingram said. “Make sure you practice good common sense and social distancing when you’re out here in the public. And try no to pull up to other boats and keep a little distance between you and other boats.”

Because schools, businesses and churches have closed indefinitely in response to the coronavirus, more people are spending their free time on Alabama waterways.

“The traffic has really grown for this time of year,” Ingram said. “What we have is people out of work and we have kids that are out of school. And we have fairly low gas prices so that’s turned the waterways into a very busy place.”

Cindy Szoklly and her family recently purchased a pontoon boat and are planning to take the advice of state troopers and practice social distancing.

“It’s important to practice social distancing because of the germs and the virus. You can have fun, but do it at a distance and it’s safe,” Szoklly said.

ALEA troopers tell CBS 42 they will continue to preach their message to boaters on the importance of social distancing as long as COVID-19 is a threat.


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