With the summertime increase of boaters on Lake Martin, test your boating safety knowledge. Answers to the following questions were provided by Sgt. Steve McWaters of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol Division and Lake Martin Resource Association’s boating safety committee chair Randy Kirkland. Give yourself one point for each correct answer and post your score on Lake magazine’s Facebook page by July 11, 2022, to be eligible for a giveaway prize.

1. Should boaters take a water safety course?

2. Are you required to pass a marine vessel licensing test to boat on Lake Martin?  

3. If you witness an accident on Lake Martin, whom should you call?

4. If you witness reckless or careless operation of a vessel, whom should you call?

5. Is there a requirement to conduct a pre-departure safety equipment checklist?

6. If the life jackets/personal flotation devices (PFD) on board your boat are all adult large, does this meet the requirements?

7. How do you know if a PFD is Coast Guard approved?

8. Does my plastic blow-up swim ring meet the “through cushion” or ring requirement?

9. If you’re being towed (skiers, wake boarders, surfers, etc.), are you required to wear a PFD? If so, what type?

10. Must you wear a PFD to paddle board? 

11. On a boat, who is required to wear a Coast Guard approved PFD at all times?  

12. Are you required to wear a PFD if operating a personal watercraft (Jet Ski, SeaDoo, Wave Runner, etc.) a short distance? 

13. Is it legal to pull three people on a tube with my three-person rated Jet Ski?  

14. Must I have a sound-producing device on my boat and PWC?  

15. Is an open container of alcohol permitted on my boat?                                                            

16. What happens if I'm drinking/driving and get stopped by Marine Patrol?  

17. What is the major cause of accidents on Lake Martin?  

18. A pontoon boat has docking lights. Should you use them if foggy and dark out?  

19. Is it ok to operate a boat at night with swim lights on?

20. If you’re not familiar with Lake Martin, is it OK to navigate at night?

21. There are three types of buoys on Lake Martin. What do the symbols mean?

22. Does LMRA authorize, install and manage Slow No Wake buoys?

23. Is LMRA responsible for managing and maintaining the orange swim balls/moorings?

24. Is there a certain distance that I should stay away from a hazard buoy?

25. If a boater accidentally damages a buoy, whom should they contact?

26. Do boater license fees pay for the buoys and placements?

27. If you see someone damaging a buoy, what should you do? 

28. Why is it so important to stay hydrated and protected from the sun?  

29. Is it OK to go boating alone?

30. Are there hand signals when tubing, skiing, wakeboarding and surfing?  

31. Is checking the weather forecast before and during an outing recommended?

32. Are spotters required when pulling skiers, wake boarders, surfers with a boat?  

33. How about when towing with a PWC? 

34. Is it a law to navigate on the right side of the lake heading north and opposite side heading south?

35. Does it matter how many people ride on my boat?  

36. What is an engine cutoff (kill switch) and do I need to connect it to my body while operating my boat? 

37. Is an engine cut-off switch required on a PWC?  

For more information about Alabama Boating Rules and Regulations, visit alea.gov/dps/marine-patrol/boating-rules-and-regulations. For more information about Lake Martin Resource Association, visit lmra@lmra.info.