Alabama Marine Police Caution Boaters On Safety This Memorial Day Weekend.


By Catalina Trivino

Tomorrow starts the first major boating weekend of the year at Lake Martin, with Alabama Marine Police making sure boating season starts safely.

It may not look like it now, but in just a few hours, Lake Martin will be filled with boats zipping through the water. But Alabama Marine Police want to remind you to boat safe, smart and sober.

It's the sunny weather and the sound of boats hitting the water that marks the start of boating season this Memorial Day weekend.

"Thousands of boats all over the place, it just becomes so crazy," Said Rob Armstrong, who has been boating there for years.

Officer Mark Fuller and Frank Cartwright will be over-seeing all of Lake Martin.

With this being one of the most potentially dangerous weekends for Alabama Marine Police, they need boaters and swimmers to obey the laws.

"This will be one of the final days that you'll have smooth waters on lake Martin," Said Cartwright.

But soon, thousands of boaters will join Officer Cartwright, which means high wakes on Lake Martin.

"We kind of assume everybody else has the right of way. We've always been safe  that way, we kind of stay with the tubers, stay away from all the boat traffic, you don't go cutting in front of people," Said Armstrong.
Marine Police will also be watching for BUI's.

"They get out here for several hours at a time, they drink nothing but alcohol and not drink that much water so by the time they leave, we and we happen to stop them, they're usually more impaired than they are in their own mind," Said Cartwright.

It's why marine police will be holding regular safety checks throughout the weekend. Donna Ryals is making sure she packs enough to hyrdrate and isn't taking a chance on a BUI.

"We usually have one of us that doesn't really drink much that has a license that can drive," Said Ryals.

Marine Police say they expect most people to hit the waters on Saturday. Throughout the weekend they're expecting at least 1,000 boaters to come out here.

By law, there are some safety requirements to obey when you head to the lake:

You have to have life jackets for everyone on board. Children under 8 are required to wear the jacket at all times.

A boat at least 16 ft. long needs to have a coast guard approved throwable device.

You also need to carry a  fire extinguisher.