ALEA discusses boat safety ahead of 4th of July holiday
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NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) – Alabama State Troopers want boaters to be safe on the water this Fourth of July holiday weekend. They’re launching a campaign called ‘Operation Dry Water.’

Trooper Freddie Ingram works with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, covering marine patrol on Lake Tuscaloosa. He says state troopers will not tolerate drinking and driving, speeding and boaters not wearing a life jacket.

“July 4th is one the busiest weekends we have on Lake Tuscaloosa and on any body of water in the state of Alabama,” Ingram said. “We want everyone to operate safely while you’re on the road and on the water. Please check your equipment and make sure you have a personal floatation device for everyone on board.”

Ingram also encourages boaters to make sure they have a fire extinguisher on board and all equipment is in good working order.

Northport resident Ron Porter was glad to hear ALEA will crack down on boaters who won’t obey the law on the water. He often goes fishing on Lake Tuscaloosa and says boat safety is very important to ensure no one is injured or loses their life.

“I’ve known lots of people over the years that have been hurt in boat accidents. The kill switch and the life jacket are important,” Porter said. “I’ve heard about people if they had them on they wouldn’t have been killed. I have a brother who almost got killed because he didn’t have on a life jacket in high water.”

During the Memorial Day holiday, ALEA arrested 70 people for underage drinking while boating on Lake Tuscaloosa and the Black Warrior River.

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