Law enforcement officials say a greater awareness of risks has led to one of the safest summers on record on Georgia's lakes and rivers. Authorities say boaters have become more aware of and more careful to avoid the inherent risks on the water -- especially the added dangers caused by excessive drinking.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials are stressing the importance of watercraft safety as Labor Day weekend approaches. Agency officials say there have been 68 boating incidents so far this year, including eight boating-related fatalities.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has announced it will participate in a national initiative aimed at educating people on the dangers of boating under the influence. Department spokeswoman Melissa Cummings says the initiative is an effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities linked to boaters operating watercrafts while under the influence.
The Savannah-Chatham County police marine unit is offering a boating safety class next week aimed at teenagers who will soon be required to complete such a course to legally operate a boat in Georgia waters. The safety class requirement kicks in at the beginning of next year, when it will essentially affect boat operators age 16 and younger.
Officials in Hall County are looking for ways to improve safety on Lake Lanier after two bad accidents this summer. Commissioner Craig Lutz said members will be meeting with emergency responders on Wednesday to discuss options for making the lake safer.