Lake Martin - What's being billed as the largest on-the-water party to ever hit Lake Martin has Alabama Marine Police officials working extra hard to make sure that boaters attending Aquapalooza 2009 enjoy the event safely. "We plan to have 24-hour patrols beginning Thursday, July 23rd and running through the following Sunday," said Captain Matt Brooks, District 3 supervisor for the Marine Police Division. "We're bringing officers in from all over the state to help with everything from crowd and traffic control to event security but our primary concern will be that people who come to have a good time do so safely and responsibly."
- The main body of water where the concerts will take place will be designated an Idle Speed Only Zone and all boats entering the zone will be required to travel at idle speed or less. The zone will be clearly marked by buoys and will have patrol boats stationed nearby. The zone will extend from the Alabama Highway 63 Bridge west to a line of buoys placed between Governor's Island and a small island just to the west of Sinclair's restaurant. The Idle Speed restriction will be strictly enforced due to the large number of boats anticipated to moor in the area.
- Those who plan to moor their boats and leave them must have the boat clearly marked by the required anchor light during nighttime hours. This light must be a continuous white light visible 360-degrees.
- Boaters need to make sure that they don't overload their vessels. A boat's capacity plate will tell the operator the maximum number of people the boat may safely carry.
- Children under 8 years of age must wear a personal flotation device.
- Swimmers will need to stay within 10 feet of their vessel or utilize the swimming area adjacent to the main stage.
- The designated driver concept applies well to the water. Marine police officers will be on the lookout for intoxicated vessel operators and underage drinkers and urge all boat operators to refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Officers encourage everyone to employ the 3 Cs of boating: Courtesy, Care and Common sense. "People need to prepare for heavy congestion," said Captain Brooks. "If an operator doesn't do well in crowds or doesn't have a lot of experience operating in traffic, then they might want to think twice before entering the main concert area."
Captain Matt Brooks or Lt. Mitford Fontaine Alabama Marine Police District 3 Headquarters
126 Marina Road
Alexander City, Alabama 35010