Lake association warning against boat wakes before holiday weeke - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Lake association warning against boat wakes before holiday weekend


If you're headed to the lake anytime soon...beware.

Where you take your boat and how you drive it could mean the difference between life and death.

A new campaign encourages drivers to watch their wake.

"It's very dangerous because the fact they don't know the damage that their wake can cause," says Lake Martin resident, Larry Tuggle.

The Lake Martin Resource Association (LMRA) took demonstrated what happens when a boat passes through a quaint cove at warp speed.

The wake sends water slamming into the dock, nearby boats, and even the shoreline.

"We probably get more calls, more complaints about it than anything else," says John Thompson, President of LMRA.

Strong wakes are not only damaging to private property but they're a public safety issue, too.

"I was on a dock like this one time at my house and had the grand kids out here swimming and everything and here comes a boat," says Tuggle.

Next thing Tuggle knew...

"They fell between the floating dock and the fixed dock. Luckily they didn't grab that chain because it could have cut a couple fingers off."

That's why these men teamed up with Alabama Marine Police posting "Watch your wake, Share the Lake" signs on private docks and at marinas.

And while there is no law requiring boats keep a certain distance from the shore, if a driver's boat wake causes harm to someone?


"We would cite the boat operator for reckless or careless operation in that situation," says Alabama Marine Police Sergeant Mark Fuller.

The campaign is sponsored by the State Department of Conservation and will be introduced at every lake statewide just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

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