Staying safe on crowded Lakes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Staying safe on crowded Lakes

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May 19, 2003

Lake Chehaw - Thousands of Georgians will head to the lake this weekend for Memorial Day. Boaters, jet skiers, and swimmers always crowd the water on this first big holiday weekend of summer. And, the Department of Natural Resources wants to make sure you stay safe on the lake.

A group of Lee County Seniors, who are out of school this week before graduating on Friday, enjoy a day of boating and skiing on Lake Chehaw. "We love to come out here and ski. All of our friends come out and just relax," said John Tomlinson.

DNR Rangers are warning that crowded lakes can be dangerous. "Remember that there will be many boaters, skiers, and swimmers in the water. You should stay 100 yards away from others water-goers and water hazards," said Ranger Scott Carroll.

"If I see a fallen skiers or a boat passing close to me, I just stop and wait so I don't get hurt or hurt somebody else," said Tomlinson.

Remember to never drive your boat or jet ski between a fallen skier and the pull boat. And, skiers can help make themselves more visible. "Skiers should hold up their ski so passing boats can see them. And, skiers should wear brightly colored life vests," said Carroll.

Staying safe on the lake starts before ever leaving home. "Many people have kept their boat in the garage all winter, and this is the first time they'll bring it out on the water this year. So make sure your engine is working properly before hitting the water," said Carroll.

If you follow the rules of the lake, avoid marked danger area, and respect other water goers, this Memorial Day should be nothing but fun. The DNR will be out in full force this weekend, and all summer, making sure boaters have properly safe gear and registration.

Posted at 6:05PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com