island coastline
It was a dangerous holiday weekend on Georgia’s waters, with two people dead in separate incidents and eight more injured. According to the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the first fatality involved a 22-year-old South Carolina man who drowned at Lake Hartwell on Sunday. A second drowning took place on Monday at a private pond in Turner County, where two people were thrown from a jet ski. One of the riders was able to make it to shore, but the other remained missing at the time of the report’s publication. A total of nine boating incidents were reported for the holiday weekend, with seven of those incidents occurring at Lake Lanier. Additionally, the DNR issued 27 Boating Under the Influence (BUI) citations, including five on Lake Lanier. In Georgia, the legal impairment limit to operate a motorized vessel on public waterways is the same as that of adult drivers on Georgia roadways: .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood. This is known as blood alcohol content (BAC). Unfortunately, impairment does not begin at .08 BAC, but with the first drink. Alcohol impairment creates deficits to the skills boat operators need in order to operate the vessel safely, such as the ability to control one’s speed, to track moving targets in order to avoid colliding, and to exercise good judgment. Lake Lanier, with an estimated 11.3 million visitors each year, posts the highest number of BUI citations — more than 80 a year — as well as the largest number of boating injuries and fatalities. It is reported that, at certain times of the year such as popular summer holidays, as many as 40,000-50,000 people can be in one area of the lake at a time. Have you been injured in a Georgia boating accident that was caused by a careless or reckless operator? If so, let an experienced accident attorney from Cambre & Associates, LLC help you understand the legal process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. Contact us for a free case evaluation.