By Sam Poe
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | 11:06 AM
The Bear Creek Fire Department responded to a call of a boating accident on Bear Creek Lake around 2:00 Sunday afternoon. When the firemen arrived on the scene, the boaters had been brought to shore by another boat, but their boat had already sunk. The Bear Creek Fire Department requested assistance from the Haleyville Rescue Squad and Dive Team and the Alabama Marine Police. The Haleyville DIve Team responded to the call and was able to retrieve the boat, and the owners were then able to get the boat out of the water and take it home. The accident appears to have happened as the result of a hole in the bottom of the boat after hitting waves from another boat. Neither of the occupants were wearing life jackets, and first responders reported that one of the men could not swim.
Pat Welton with the Alabama Marine Police stated boating accidents are common during this time of year. A couple of safety tips he recommended are listed below.
-Always wear life jackets. Alabama laws do not require you to wear them at all times, but they can make the difference between life and death during emergency situations on the water. However, children under the age of eight years are required to wear life jackets at all times.
-Follow the rules of the road. Use courtesy with other boaters. Use common sense, and don't put yourself in harm's way if avoidable.