TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands in Alabama are expected to go boating and swimming on lakes and rivers for the Labor Day holiday weekend. ALEA marine officers also expect many to visit Lake Tuscaloosa, where they are urging everyone to be safe while celebrating.
Senior Trooper Ryan Wise says that ALEA will not tolerate any boaters who act recklessly on the water.
“The main thing we look for is careless operation of a vessel,” Wise said. “We like to stop and talk to as many boats as we can just to make sure everyone has their safety equipment and their PFDs and fire extinguishers and are wearing a kill switch and things like that.”
During the Labor Day weekend, ALEA will be cracking down to make sure boaters follow the rules of the water. ALEA is also partnering with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to make sure visitors clean up after themselves following festivities.
Trooper Freddie Ingram is hoping boaters heed advice from ALEA so everyone enjoys the water and has a safe experience.
“Labor Day was one of the last big holidays of the year so we would like to send of this message to our boating public that you need to keep a safe look out. Make sure everyone on the boat is paying attention and make sure you know your environment,” Ingram said.
According to ALEA, officers investigated eleven fatalities from different lakes and rivers last year around the state. There were also 85 boating accidents.