The beautiful weather and mild temperatures of the July 4 weekend will assuredly draw many people to the lakes and rivers. As waterway traffic increases, Alabama's Marine Police are busy patrolling to help keep everyone safe.
Marine officers along the Tennessee River said they beefed up patrols all week long, and will continue to do so throughout the holiday weekend.
Officer Josh Bradford keeps an eye on the water in the Shoals. He said after last year's rainy July 4 and a cold winter, they expect an even bigger crowd Friday.
Bradford and other state agents spent all day on the river. They want to remind boaters to check and double-check all safety equipment before hitting the water. They said it doesn't hurt to review Alabama's boating rules and regulations as well. Bradford said their number-one job on the water is to ensure safety; he wants everyone to have a good time and to make it back home to their families.
"Keep your eyes open, have good seamanship," Bradford said. "Look around, check all your safety equipment and make sure everybody that's on your boat has the correct life jacket... Watch for other boaters. You can't just assume that everybody is going to be partaking of the law, so just keep a closer look out."
Surprisingly enough, Officer Bradford said one of the biggest safety issues they find on the water is one of the easiest to fix. Make sure your boat has enough life jackets for everyone on board.
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