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Georgia Department of Natural Resources prioritizes boating safety at Lake Tobesofkee

After a boating accident that killed and injured 6, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is focusing on boating safety
Credit: 13wmaz

MACON, Ga. — Temperatures are in the 90s, making places like Lake Tobesofkee a good place to cool off, but after a boating accident on the lake, it may be time to talk about boat safety.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says its goal is for everyone to have a good time on the lakes and rivers, and to go home safely at the end of the day. 

They say they have a zero-tolerance policy for impaired operators, and if you are caught driving impaired, you will go to jail.

"We just got our boat delivered not too long ago, and we've been out here nearly every day since," said Tommy Lemon.

Lemon is the owner of a 22-foot-long pontoon boat and says the lake is usually a pretty safe place. 

After an accident that killed one and left six injured last week, he recognizes that while it's safe for him, there are some people who don't follow the rules.

"There's going to be your outliers that don't adhere and whatnot," he said.

The DNR says boaters should never drink while operating the vessel, maintain proper distance, and know the waterways. 

Lemon has some tips of his own.

"I stay off the main body. I try and find a channel or something to anchor out into for people who are having fun and out boating; I always swim with life jackets even though I can swim. It just makes it a little easier," he said.

If you're on any lake, make sure you're adhering to Georgia's rules. With safety in mind, anyone born on or after January 1, 1998, must have completed a boat education course approved by the DNR if they want to operate any motorized vessel on the water. 

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