LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GA (WALB) - A lot of people hit the water to enjoy the Labor Day holiday Monday, but with higher boat traffic comes a higher chance of accidents.
WALB News 10's Emileigh Forrester rode along with a Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Game Warden to see how the Law Enforcement Division worked to save lives on Lake Blackshear.
Corporal Jesse Harrison patrolled the lake out of Georgia Veterans State Park.
"We're out here just to make sure the public knows that we're out here, that we're out there to catch the bad guys," said Cpl. Harrison.
Those bad guys are boaters under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"That's the highest concern of an accident happening on the lake," he said.
The DUI rules of the road apply to the water, as BUI laws. The legal limit for a boater behind the wheel is a blood alcohol content of .08.
DNR agents keep a look out for common tells that someone could be committing a BUI.
"They'll almost plow into other boats because they're impaired," said Cpl. Harrison. "They're not fully paying attention."
Those are not the only lawbreakers agents look for on the lake.
Monday, Cpl. Harrison stopped a jet ski pulling two people on a tube.
"You gotta have somebody on back observing while you're towing," he said to the jet skier.
According to Cpl. Harrison, more often than giving citations, agents simply inform people of what laws they're breaking. That, of course, depends on the offense.
"Verbal guidance will take it a long way with them," Cpl. Harrison said.
Agents perform safety checks on boats, too.
Cpl. Harrison said Lake Blackshear has stayed a safe place in 2017.
"This year, we have had zero drownings, zero fatalities, and zero incidents," he said.
In the end, agents say they want everyone to enjoy themselves, and make it home.
"Make sure every Georgia boater has had a safe experience and enjoyable experience on the water," said Cpl. Harrison.
DNR put an extra boat in the water at Lake Blackshear Monday, to increase typical patrols from 2 to 3 boats.
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