Guntersville Rescue Squad gears up for the Fourth of July

This boating season has shaped up to be especially dangerous in North Alabama, with at least five water-related deaths in the last two months.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 5:40 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2019 7:55 PM

As even more people head out on the water for the Fourth of July, rescue squads are gearing up.

WAAY 31 went out on the water with the Guntersville Rescue Squad to learn what they're doing to keep boaters safe.

Guntersville Rescue Squad will set up Thursday morning around where fireworks will be launched to make sure people don't get too close. They'll also be ready if accidents happen and have volunteers on standby.

"You've got a big number of people who aren't experienced, but out on the water and if you add alcohol to the mix, it only impairs them further," said Martin Killion, the president of the Guntersville Rescue Squad.

Crews are concerned people might decide to head out on the water without wearing a life vest.

"Life jackets float, you don't, so make sure you wear one," said Killion.

Rescuers say they have three tips if you're headed out boating on Thursday. These are to make sure you're phone is charged, make sure you have a designated driver if you're going to drink and always wear a life vest.

North Alabama lakes have seen their fair share of tragedies this season. In May, a 12-year-old died at Smith Lake in Cullman County and a mom and daughter were killed on Wilson Lake in June, near Shoals Creek.

In June, a body was found by a fisherman in Lake Guntersville. Almost 2 weeks ago, a 17-year-old drowned at Lake Guntersville State Park.

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