NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — The Memorial Day weekend holiday is the unofficial start of summer which means lots of people will be headed to the water for swimming and boating.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Senior Trooper Freddie Ingram was on Lake Tuscaloosa Tuesday talking about their mission to keep boaters safe.
“We want everyone to enjoy the water and come out and enjoy Memorial Day and we also want you to come back home safe at the end of the day. Nothing is worse than having a good day on the water than having an accident,” Ingram said.
This week is National Safe Boating Week, it’s an ALEA campaign to promote public safety on the water ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend. Ingram says the marine patrol will be looking for boaters who operate recklessly and are irresponsible. Alcohol is not permitted on the lake and boaters must have lifejackets and fire extinguishers.
“We will be actively seeking out people who are operating recklessly or who are acting careless. We will seek out those boaters who are operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs We will be putting safety at the utmost highest status this weekend,” Ingram said.
In 2020, marine patrol investigated 107 boating-related crashes, resulting in 14 fatalities. The year prior, they investigated 110 boating-related crashes with 29 fatalities.