DNR officials keep boaters safe for the Summer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

DNR officials keep boaters safe for the Summer

Boaters are obeying the laws on Lake Blackshear. (Source:WALB) Boaters are obeying the laws on Lake Blackshear. (Source:WALB)
Emily Gregory, Lake Blackshear Visitor (Source:WALB) Emily Gregory, Lake Blackshear Visitor (Source:WALB)
Sgt. Al Greer, DNR Law Enforcement (Source:WALB) Sgt. Al Greer, DNR Law Enforcement (Source:WALB)
DNR officials are checking for safety violations. (Source:WALB) DNR officials are checking for safety violations. (Source:WALB)
LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GA (WALB) -

Memorial Day kicks off the season for many boaters. Department of Natural Resource officials want boaters to have fun this summer, but also to obey the laws.

"The main thing we're looking for is safety violations of course alcohol and driving the vessel, boating under the influence is the number one reason for fatalities in the state of Georgia,” said Sgt. Al Greer, DNR Law Enforcement.

12-year-old Emily Gregory is making safety a priority while she's on her family's boat.

"Wearing our life jacket and going the correct speed,” said Emily Gregory, Lake Blackshear Visitor.

Greer says children under the age of 13 not wearing a life jacket is the most common violation they see.

"People don't understand that it only takes a split second for something bad to happen,” said Greer.

A boating accident caused a vessel to explode Sunday at Lake Blackshear. Luckily the four people on board ages 9 to 65 safely jumped into the water.

"The fumes got trapped inside the hull of the boat and something mechanically went wrong with it,” said Greer. “We're still investigating it to figure out exactly what happened, but he kept trying to crank it and it exploded."

They've also made one arrest so far for boating under the influence.
Something that Greer believes is more dangerous than drinking and driving.

"Because you operate a vessel three months out of the year and you operate a car year round so your motor skills are not as refined with a boat as they are with a vehicle,” said Greer.

Sgt. Greer says you should keep a cell phone with you on the water, and if you have an emergency, call 911 or *GSP.

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