Be safe on the waters this fourth of July - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Be safe on the waters this fourth of July

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 4, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Many of you plan to watch fireworks light the night sky from your boats this fourth of July. And while nothing beats cooling off this holiday weekend on your boat, it's important to keep safety at the forefront as you relax.

It's America's birthday, and many of you will be celebrating with family and friends on the water. "We are out here today with extended family. And we are going to do some boating, tubing, eating, watermelon cooling and just watch the fireworks later," said veteran, Dave Baker.

This three day weekend is one of the busiest at Lake Blackshear, and it is also one of the most dangerous. "On the fourth of July, it's so busy you are going to have to do a lot of defensive driving," said Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officer, Wade Law.

And that boils down to one thing, "watch out for other boaters, and just keep your eyes open," said Baker.

Keeping the proper distance and speed is also key. "That pretty much is the biggest thing. If you are going idle speed everytime you are 100 feet of another person or another vessel or a dock you are pretty much going to be okay," said Law.

And before you get on a boat, you need to put on a life jacket. D.N.R. officers will be patrolling to make sure boaters are cautious. "This weekend we are trying to make sure that everybody that comes out has a safe time," said Law.

"You have to know the rules and regulations and adhere to them or somebody will get hurt," said Baker. And following them will help ensure that the only lights and sounds you see and hear, come from fireworks in the night sky; instead of the flashing lights and sirens of an ambulance.

D.N.R. officers also want to remind you that it is illegal for the person operating a boat to be drinking. Officers say they will have zero tolerance for drunk or drugged drivers.

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