Georgia DNR issues water safety warnings 4th of July weekend

Officials advising boaters to be safe on 4th of July
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia officials warn of increased water-related injuries and fatalities as thousands of people look to cool off for 4th of July.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources said it increased officer patrols on the water and recreational boating checkpoints for the three-day weekend.

Patrols will specifically keep an eye out for impaired boat operators. The number of boating under the influence incidents has steadily increased each year since 2018. Alcohol is the number one contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.

Authorities said they are also watching for boats, personal watercraft, and jetskis violating the 100-foot law, which mandates “idle speed” within 100 feet of a person, boat, dock, swimming area, or any other object in the water including the shoreline.

Georgia DNR shared the following tips for anyone heading to the water:

  • Don’t take your eyes off small children
  • Arm floaties are not recommended for children, as they can provide a false sense of security and come off or deflate
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Swim in supervised areas only
  • Know your swimming limits
  • Obey “No Diving” signs that indicate the area is unsafe for headfirst entries. Enter feet-first into water if you don’t know the depth
  • - Don’t swim while impaired. Alcohol clouds judgment and can impact coordination and body temperature