ELMORE COUNTY – A crash involving a Stratos bass boat, and a personal watercraft occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m. Saturday, July 30, has resulted in injuries of the individuals involved. The operator and the passenger on the personal watercraft both sustained injuries and were transported to the Russell Medical Center in Alexander City. The operator of the bass boat was also injured and received medical treatment. The crash occurred on Lake Martin in Kowaliga Bay near the Anchor Bay Marina, in Elmore County.
Deputies with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, members of Red Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Kowaliga Volunteer Fire Department and Troopers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division all responded to the scene and assisted with the crash. Nothing further is available as Troopers with ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division continue to investigate.
I reached out to Captain Brooks with a few of the questions I had received and some that were in the comments of the Facebook group and the answers can be found below.
Thank you Captain Brooks and all our marine patrol officers, State Troopers, local Sherrif’s offices, and volunteer firemen who work tirelessly to keep us a safe and view some pretty horrific accidents.
Q. What does the Alabama law say in regards to hours of operation for Jet ski?
A. Personal watercraft without navigation lights are not allowed on the water after sunset. Troopers utilize the National Weather Service table to determine official sunset times.
Q. Can I add aftermarket nav lights to ride a PWC after dark?
A. PWC navigation lights are possible to install but difficult to meet the code and are risky and unwise to use – Marine Patrol discourages it across the board and some insurance companies will not insure watercraft for night operation.
Bow lights (red and green) must be visible for 1 mile and the stern light (white) must be visible for 2 miles and unobstructed for 360 degrees. The stern light pole will have to be well above the operator.
While is it possible, it is discouraged.
Q. There are Sea Doos running at night in my area.
A. If you see PWC’s after sunset without navigation lights, call Marine Patrol to make a report. You may save a life. 334-353-0709
Q. What’s the fine if I operate a sea doo after dark and get caught?
A. The fine and court costs for a navigation light citation will run from $300-500 dollars depending on the court system.