Boaters Can Donate To Rescue Squad When Registering Vessels

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Those who go out on the water in Morgan County will soon have an easy way to support the rescue team that would help them if they ran into a problem.

The Morgan County Rescue Squad has 57 members, always ready to hit the water to help anyone in any kind of distress.

“It’s not just for medical emergencies or drowning situations,” said Chief Tony Weikert of the Morgan County Rescue Squad.  “We’ll help anybody out that’s in a need that’s stranded out on the water.”

That includes anyone out of gas, with a dead motor or some other problem on the water.

Weikert says on any given year, the rescue squad goes on about 200 calls a year.

They’re supported by the Decatur City Council, Morgan County Commission and some non-profit charities, but after that, members have to do fundraising.
So, some of them asked legislators to help.

“There was a lot of support,” said Representative Terri Collins of Decatur, talking about a bill she sponsored to create the donation opportunity.

She and other members of the legislative delegation for Morgan County designed it to allow people who use the water to support the rescue squad when they register their boats or other water vessels.

“Whether it be a motorized boat vessel or Ski Doo, personal watercraft, any of those things that is registered through Morgan County,” said Weikert. “They can make a donation at the time they renew their boat license.”

It costs $80,000 a year to support the squad.  But that’s just for it to exist.  Weikert hopes the extra money will allow the squad to improve their equipment.

“We’re one of the only rescue squads in the state of Alabama that has the type of water rescue equipment that we have here, so we really need the support,” said Weikert.

It’s support that could end up saving someone from a simple inconvenience to a life-threatening incapacity.

The new law goes into effect July first.

Boaters can donate any amount.  The squad will get the donations the following month.

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