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Orange Beach no-wake zones expanded

(Image:WPMI)Slow going for local boaters this summer

Boaters, visitors and locals alike will have to slow down this Spring and Summer when traveling along Perdido Pass in Orange Beach.

The area is so popular with boaters that increased traffic has led to the extension of a "No Wake" zone along Terry Cove, one of the last areas where jet skiers and boaters could "gun it".

People who love their boats, and the water, say it's the last place within reach where you could go fast and have some fun.

On a day like today, there's no problem here. It's when hundreds crowd these waters, boats are going too fast and marine police trying keep up, that things can easily get out of hand.

"The main effort now is really educating people to the fact that this will occur and that it will be in effect, and the signage speaking with the state

should be up prior to the beginning of Spring Break," said Orange Beach Police Chief Joe Fierro.

"Individuals and locals are not thrilled with the idea either, before you know it, it's going to be a no wake zone all the way to Pirates Cove to get a cheeseburger...so, I mean, the only place

you'll be able to wide open is out in the Gulf," said Dominique Specchio, who owns Happy Harbor boat rentals.

He says his clients will eventually get the message to slow down in an area where gunning it was the norm.

His biggest worry is keeping renters happy when they learn it might take a 15 minute ride to speed up and have fun.

"It's just stuff, whether it's giving the customer extra time to try and make up for it, just so it doesn't look bad on us," said Specchio.

The Alabama Marine Police along with Orange Beach Police will give out warnings for a period of time as boaters get used to the change.

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