Marine police urge people to be cautious for the holiday

GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Alabama Marine police expect hundreds of boaters to be out this Fourth of July on Lake Guntersville.

Officers will be checking to make sure boaters have the proper equipment on board, like life jackets, and they will also be looking for people drinking while boating.

Sergeant Jeff Lowery said violators can face heavy fines for breaking the law.

"We're going to be real strict on our enforcement efforts out here and hopefully everyone will have a good time," said Sgt. Lowery.

They're hoping to prevent accidents like the one that happened Sunday evening. Marine police said a 54-year-old woman left her boat at a bluff and attempted to climb up some rocks to get to a cave.  They said she fell 25 to 30 feet off the bluff.  She was airlifted to an area hospital with head injuries, but is expected to be alright. Firefighters said it's very popular to jump off the bluffs into the water.

"As far as jumping, really, unless your professionally trained, we wouldn't recommend it," said Anita Barnett, a Hebron volunteer firefighter.

Alabama Fishing and Wildlife officers will be helping patrol the waters this holiday.  Marine police officers said they will conduct random boat checks.

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