Boating Safety

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Alabama's Marine Police officers say the Fourth of July weekend is expected to be one of the busiest boating periods of the year.

Safety on the water is the catch phrase -- boaters are urged to take extra precautions, including having personal floatation devices for every person on board and a fully charged fire extinguisher.

Alabama law also require boaters to display proper navigation lights at night.

So far this year, there have been ten fatalities on the state's waters.

Department spokeswoman, Lt. Erica Shipman, said recent heavy rains have also heightened concerns. She said boaters and anglers are urged not to stray too close to dams.

Alabama Power and TVA operate dozens of dams statewide. Officials with both utilities say they expect to release water throughout the long holiday weekend.

Shipman also said Marine Police will be on the lookout for reckless operators and boaters operating under the influence of alcohol.