Originally reported by WVUA 23 Reporter Chelsea Ba

first_imgOriginally reported by WVUA 23 Reporter Chelsea BartonSummer may not technically be here, but fun in the sun has already begun. All of that fun can turn dangerous if vessel operators and passengers don’t obey water laws.“Come out and have a good time. We want them to enjoy the lake,” Tuscaloosa Police Lake Patrol Officer, Charles Ballard said.Ballard gears up for what could be his longest work day all year long. He said police will be on the lookout for several behaviors to correct. Perhaps the biggest problem is driving and riding recklessly or under the influence of alcohol.“We will be looking for people who are consuming alcohol and people who are drinking recklessly in their boat,” Ballard said. “By reckless, I mean not driving the speed limit and making sudden maneuvers in their boats that are unsafe.”Also, driving on the correct sides of the water, this is the same concept on roadways.“A lot of the time I tell people to think of the lake as a road,” Ballard said. “Like there’s a yellow line right in the middle of the lake and you have to stay to the right and the other boat to the left.”Another common mistake, insufficient life jacket supplies, everyone on the vessel should have a life jacket on board.“Children are supposed to wear life jackets,” Ballard said. “If you are eight years old or under, you must wear a life jacket the whole time you are on the boat. That is a big safety concern for our children and we need to make sure we abide by that law.”Boaters like Jerry Howard said safety is always his first priority when hitting the water.“We make sure we have plenty of life jackets and abide by the rules of the boat, the water patrol and all that,” Howard said. “Got enough life jackets for everybody, make sure there ain’t nobody drinking around us, keep everybody safe and a good eye out about for everybody.”A reminder, for anyone planning to go out onto Lake Tuscaloosa this Memorial Day weekend, there is no alcohol permitted on the lake.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *