Boating safety in Ga. spotlight ahead of holiday weekend
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Over the past month, we have reported at least six drownings, including three at Clarks Hill Lake last week.
With so many people heading to the lake this weekend, local and state agencies are teaming up to keep things as safe as possible.
In addition to keeping swimmers safe, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says it’s also cracking down on boaters who operate a vessel under the influence.
The Coast Guard said 489 people drowned in lakes last year, and 399 of them were not wearing life jackets.
Georgia’s Ministry of Natural Resources is launching Operation Dry Water to let people know that if you get behind the wheel of a boat while intoxicated, you risk being charged with driving under the influence.
The agency is drawing resources from across the state to ensure there are enough offices to patrol the lakes this weekend.
And the agency will have three boats on Clarks Hill Lake.
“The tragedies that occur on our waterways because people choose to boat while intoxicated are preventable,” says Col. Thomas Barnard, director of the Georgia DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “As law enforcement, it is our duty to do everything we can to keep our boaters and paddlers safe.”
Visit operationdrywater.org for more information on navigating under the influence.
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