This program is under the direction of the Boating Safety Committee (Rendell Clark, Chairman). The Alabama Marine Police have granted LMRA authority to place hazard markers when and where underwater hazards are located. LMRA currently maintains almost 400 buoys on Lake Martin. Most markers are floating six-foot tall white buoys with red markings and the red diamond indicating “hazard”. These buoys are anchored by stainless steel cable and 100-lb concrete blocks. Some hazards are marked by a pole marker with similar red and white markings.
Buoy placement is performed by a team of LMRA volunteers using our pontoon boats, BT 1 and BT 2. The cost of the buoy program is paid by LMRA member dues and constitutes 65 percent of the LMRA budget. Buoys contain a buoy number that identifies the GPS location and most buoys contain an LMRA decal that provides the phone number to call if the buoy washes ashore. Approximately 10 percent of buoys contain lights which have a one-mile visibility at night.
LMRA has prepared a “Buoy Guideline” designed to educate boaters about the significance of buoys and how to approach them. By heeding the guidelines, the boater will be better able to enjoy safe boating on Lake Martin.
No Wake and Boats Keep Out Buoys
Often, lake property owners and marinas inquire about the placement of a “No Wake” or “Boats Keep Out” buoy. LMRA considers these as “Private” buoys. Approval of these buoys is at the discretion of Alabama Marine Police (AMP) and a permit is required. Concern for safety is the primary reason that approval may be granted. When approved, LMRA will purchase and place the buoy. Generally, there will be a charge for “Private” buoys. (Currently, the charge for a non-lighted buoy is $200.)
Following are the procedures to secure a “Private” buoy.
The first step is to contact the Alabama Marine Police and request that a representative inspect your area of concern to determine if a “Private” buoy is needed. The district office phone number at Wind Creek State Park is 256-329-2268. A Marine Police officer will be assigned to contact you and visit the area in question. If the area meets the appropriate and specific criteria, the requesting party will be provided with an application form to be completed and returned to the Marine Police. Then if the application is approved, LMRA will be notified by the Marine Police and the requesting party. After payment of the cost of the buoy by the requesting party ($200), our Boating Safety Committee, under the direction of the Marine Police, will place the buoy. Approval of “Private” buoys is the sole responsibility of the Alabama Marine Police, not LMRA.