Georgia DNR increases water patrol for Memorial Day Weekend

Georgia DNR increases water patrol for Memorial Day Weekend

APPLING, GA (WFXG) - Memorial Day Weekend is underway and many people are hitting the lakes and rivers around Georgia and South Carolina. State Officials warn that this is one of the most dangerous weekends for people out on the water, and they're urging folks to be extra caution.

"I'm up here at mistletoe state park camping and boating," said Jesse Gillenwater. "We're just spending family time together."

Like many people, Gillenwater is spending his Memorial Day weekend with his family, enjoying the lake.

"It's the unofficial kick off for summer, so a lot of activity, a lot of people camping. School is getting out so you got a lot of people coming to the lake," said Brian Hobbins, Conservation Corporal for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

With more people on the water, rangers in the CSRA are making routine stops checking for life jackets, licenses, registration, and a working fire extinguisher. They want to be sure people aren't putting themselves and others in danger.

"With celebrating comes drinking alcohol so our main push right here is to make sure they stay safe," said Hobbins. "We don't want to have to work any drownings, accidents, or anything like that this weekend."

The legal limit for driving a boat is point zero eight, the same as it is while driving a car.  

"We encourage a designated driver not to drink, but as long as they're under the legal limit, they're ok," Hobbins said.

Unlike a car, Hobbins said its not illegal to have alcohol in the vessel.

"It's not against the law like a car to have alcohol on a boat. You can have alcohol on there you just got to have a sober driver," Hobbins said.

Gillenwater said he's not taking any chances.

"We don't have any alcoholic beverages on board so we're just promoting good, safe activities."

For more boating safety tips, visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.

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