Record 25 boating fatalities in Alabama this year

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Alabama Law Enforcement Agency statistics show that accidents on the state’s rivers and lakes already have claimed 25 lives this year. It’s the highest number of boating fatalities in the state since 1998, according to the TimesDaily.

The central district ALEA Marine Patrol said 12 boating accidents during the July Fourth holiday resulted in six deaths.

Lt. Mark Fuller, commander of the central district Marine Patrol, said in a statement that alcohol played a large role in most of the fatal accidents in Alabama this year. “First of all, life jackets do save lives,” he said in the statement. “And if you are going to drink and operate a boat, do it conservatively or have a designated or sober operator. When alcohol is in the mix, people make impaired judgments.”

ALEA statistics showed that 68 accidents have been reported on state waterways in 2019. In 2018, 17 people were killed in 75 accidents. In 1998, 32 people were killed in boating accidents across the state. The most boating fatalities in one year, 55, was reported in 1972.


Fine-tuning the pontoon

The new Waketoon combines a pontoon and wakesurfing hull design. “It lets the older generation have their pontoon, but the kids can have fun,” said Jim Wolf, president of Avalon Manufacturing.