In a press release in advance of the Labor Day weekend, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is stressing the importance of safety for all boat drivers and passengers as the Labor Day weekend approaches.
It has been a particularly deadly season on the lakes this year, particularly Lake Lanier. Authorities are still searching for the body of , who went overboard last month and is presumed drowned.
According to the release, so far this year there have been 96 boating incidents, nine boating incident-related fatalities and 33 total drownings on Georgia waters. Conservation rangers also have issued a total of 167 boating under the influence citations.
“Holiday weekends create a need for increased safety awareness from
all boaters,” says Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver. “As always, conservation
rangers will strictly enforce all boating laws in an effort to keep
everyone safe, but we also encourage people to pay extra attention to
others on the water.”
The following safety tips were offered by the DNR:
- Designate an operator. Do not drink and operate a boat.
- Take a boating safety course. Visit www.goboatgeorgia.com for course listings.
- Wear a life jacket. Children under 10 years of age are required by law to wear a life jacket while onboard a moving vessel, but it’s recommended for EVERYONE to wear a life jacket.
- Don’t overload your boat with people or equipment. Check on the capacity plate for the maximum weight or the maximum number of people the boat can safely carry.
- Use navigation lights at ALL times when on the water at night. Check lights before it gets dark.
- Watch your speed. The 100-foot law applies to ALL size vessels and prohibits operation at speeds greater than idle speed within 100 feet of any vessel, unless overtaking or meeting another vessel in compliance with the rules of the road.
For more information, visit www.goboatgeorgia.com/boating/safety