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Water Safety Council gets 50 complaints about dangers of wakes at Smith Mountain Lake

Council members urge boat drivers to slow down near docks

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Wakes are getting dangerous at Smith Mountain Lake.

Patrick Massa, chair of the Water Safety Council, said boats going too fast near the dock has led to dozens of complaints.

“We’ve had more than 50 reports of incidents involving big wakes just this summer,” Massa said. "This has been the worst year for floating docks breaking away from the other dock and floating into the lake.” 

Chris Bechtler, manager of Crazy Horse Marina, said boat drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings, especially with Labor Day right around the corner.

“We'll have thousands of boats out here going every which way. You have to keep alert. You have to watch all around you," Bechtler said.

“Stay 200 feet away from docks and people swimming,” Massa said.

During Labor Day weekend, Massa and Bechtler remind everyone to be considerate of others and to wear a life jacket if you’re going to the lake.