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City enacts PFD ordinance

By Michael Butler

The City of Tallassee has adopted an ordinance requiring the use of personal flotation devices on a portion of the Tallapoosa River below Thurlow Dam.

The ordinance, which passed at the Aug. 28 city council meeting, states that it is unlawful to swim or immerse any part of the body in the water without wearing a PFD within a one-mile area defined from Thurlow Dam to the municipal boat landing near AES Industries.

It applies to all who "inner tube, float, canoe, kayak, raft, jet-ski, boat, or use any vessel."

PFD's are described in the ordinance as Type I, II, III, IV of V (hybrid) approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The law comes in the wake of two more fatalities in 2017 on the river in Tallassee. The drownings occured in July and August. Each individual was not wearing a PFD.

Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock spoke about the new law.

"This is a big win for public safety," he said. "Every time we have to do a search with police officers, firemen, divers, and helicopter spotting from the air we put their lives in danger."

A $250 fine will be assessed for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance.

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