The Smith Mountain Lake Fireworks and Fire Company Fundraiser, presented by Saunders Volunteer Fire Company, will be July 6 at Parkway Marina in Huddleston. This year’s event once again has a designated no-wake zone for viewing fireworks on the water.
“This will be the 13th year this good-sense boating safety protocol has been enforced at SML,” said Patrick Massa, Smith Mountain Lake Water Safety Council chairman. “We know that the no-wake observance makes the evening more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. So, we’re expecting all boaters to comply with the no-wake protocol again this year.”
Deputies from sheriff’s offices in Franklin and Bedford counties, as well as Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries conservation officers, will patrol by boat during and after the fireworks.
Boaters are asked to observe a temporary no-wake zone, which extends up the Roanoke, Blackwater and Craddock Creek channels from the bay between Parkway Marina, Bernard’s Landing and Vista Pointe.
The no-wake zone goes into effect at 8 p.m. and lasts until boats idle out of the no-wake boundaries after the fireworks.
Boats with flashing amber lights from Sea Tow, the U.S. Sail and Power Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide a reference for no-wake boundaries. Boaters should slow to idle speed as they reach these vessels and only resume above-idle operation once they have passed them after the fireworks.
Boaters should use caution in congested areas such as the “S” curve near channel marker R15. Amber flashing lights in those areas will remind operators to use caution.
Sgt. James Slaughter of VDGIF said boaters should check their navigation lights and added that operating docking lights in open water is illegal. He also warned that decorative lighting interfering with navigation light visibility is illegal while boats are underway.
“Boats that are adrift must display running lights and those at anchor should show their anchor (all-around white) light only,” Slaughter said.
For more information about the fireworks, visit smlfireworks.org.