The long Memorial Day Holiday Weekend is over. Most of us are only dealing with sunburns or indigestion. We had a relatively safe weekend on Lake Allatoona, but there were plenty of boating incidents elsewhere.
Department of Natural Resources Spokeswoman Melissa Cummings kindly provided the final statistics about all the boating incidents that occurred around Georgia over the Memorial Day Weekend — the unofficial start to summer.
Law enforcement officers and rescue personnel were busy this past weekend, but there were only 32 Boating Under the Influence (BUI) citations issued this year, compared to 42 in 2013 — roughly a third fewer than last year.
Much of that decrease can be attributed to new laws enacted after several horrific boating deaths on Lake Lanier in 2012 and 2013.
Memorial Day Weekend Boating Incidents
Two drownings were reported statewide. On Lake Allatoona, 18-year-old Chance Werner died on 5-25. William Brown died in the Atlantic Ocean near Tybee on 5-24. That investigation is ongoing.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
32 BUI citations issued, including:
- Clarks Hill-3
Rangers responded to nine incidents over the weekend, with a total of three Boating Incident Related Injuries:
- Lanier (5/24): PWC ran into a boat in Shoal Creek. No injuries.
- Lanier (5/25): Fire on a Pontoon boat in Bald Ridge Creek. No injuries.
- Lanier (5/25): Boat that Sank near Aqualand Marina. No injuries.
- Lanier (5/25): PWC and vessel collision near Van Pugh Park. Two minor injuries.
- Hartwell (5/25): minor incident. No injuries.
- West Point (5/25): Tubing incident where a tuber was thrown off tube/injuring neck/shoulder.
- Lanier (5/26): 15-year-old fell off a pontoon in Chestatee River area and was struck by boat. Transported to NE Ga Medical Center.
- Lanier (5/26): Fisherman pushed his boat away from Lula Bridge and fell into water, inhaled water while under. Transported to NE GA Medical Center.
- Lanier (5/26): Rangers investigation an incident in Burton Mill area. No details yet.
Boating Incident Related Injuries: 5. (Six, if injuries are part of Burton Mill incident.)
Please don’t drink and drive — boats or cars.