Waterway records already broken, Marine Patrol preparing for even more crowds

Coronavirus

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — The beaches and waterways are already seeing record turnout as people seek the shoreline as refuge from quarantine. Now, add Memorial Day boat traffic and the start of red snapper season.

“We’re predicting we’re gonna have a record this weekend over the Memorial Holiday period,” said Lt. Ryan Bennett with ALEA Marine Patrol.

They’ve response calls have tripled the last few weeks.

“We’ve had an increased number of accidents, we’ve had an increased number of search and rescue calls,” Bennett said.

ALEA, along with the Orange Beach Police Department, will have extra staff out patrolling the waters through Monday. They’ll also be monitoring social distancing.

“When we come across a boat or come up on a sandbar where there’s a large group of people, we’re really just trying to encourage people to maintain their social distance,” Bennett said.

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