Tough Weekend For Marine Police


By Alabama News Network

There are only two marine police officers assigned the patrol the entirety of Lake Martin. With record numbers expected to be out this weekend, they say it's a difficult task. 

The holiday is already in full swing for many hitting the lake this weekend. 
Boats are crowding the water, leaving the two marine police officers doing the best that they can as the celebrations kick off.
"We have the annual fireworks show on Kowaliga Bay. There will be several hundred maybe thousand boats out there to view them. That presents a challenge for us as well as a dangerous situation for boaters in the area," said Sgt. Mark Fuller.
The officers have to patrol about 750 miles of coast throughout the weekend. Visitors to the lake say that's too much.
"I think it's an utmost priority for the volume of people we need to try to keep it under control. Keep the chaos down if you will," said Brett Watkins.
"They should have a few more than just two. It's the biggest lake, so that's a lot of lake," said Micael Price.
"They definitely need more than two because you've got the rivers, the dams, people fishing," said Andy Conway. 
And every stop the officers make means more time off the water.
"If we encounter a boater under the influence that process takes us off the water anywhere from 2 to 3 hours transporting them to the jail and such," said Sgt. Fuller.
There are some new laws that the officers hope will make things easier for them out here, like harsher punishments for those caught boating under the influence