Law enforcement increasing patrols to ensure holiday boating safety

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama State Troopers are beefing up patrols on Lake Tuscaloosa during the July 4th holiday weekend.

Trooper Johnathan Appling says the ALEA Marine Patrol Division wants boaters to be safe. Troopers will be on the lookout for those who are not obeying the law.

“They will be on the waterways and the roadways as visible as possible. They are going to be enforcing the most common causes of injuries and deaths both on the roadway and on the water,” Appling said. On the waterways you are going to have boating under the influence, we are going to be looking for people who are boating with alcohol and doing other dangerous things on the water.”

Both ALEA and Tuscaloosa Police Marine Police were on Lake Tuscaloosa on Sunday.  Officials tell CBS 42 they are reminding boaters to wear life jackets, no drinking and driving will be tolerated, and boaters should have all emergency equipment is aboard.

Christi Rouse and her family are playing it smart and don’t take chances.

“You want everyone to make it home safe, make good memories but be safe doing it,” Rouse said. You’ve got to have the fire extinguishers, the life vests, the throw cushions, we’ve got everything like our license and insurance and everything is registered. Plenty of sunscreen, be safe.”

The Berry, Ala. resident and her family and friends spent Sunday on a pontoon boat.  Rouse says she is hoping people are more responsible during the holiday weekend.

“If you get on the water and act crazy, you’re affecting everyone else because if you hit somebody your affecting that family,” Rouse said. “But if you come out here, and you’re smart with your driving technique and the way you maneuver and your respect on the water, everybody has a good time and nobody gets hurt.”

State Troopers will be working overtime patrols made possible by state grants from ADECA and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

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