BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. — Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, which means a whole bunch of folks will pack Lake Sinclair. It's important to know how to stay safe while having a good time.
Wiley Harden grew up on the lake, and knows all the boating laws. But when it comes to Memorial Day weekend, he says, you just have to be extra careful.
"It's really rough and really crowded. You really have to pay attention, because there are a lot of people out here, a lot," he said.
Kevin Hurley with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says during this time of year, they usually see more traffic on the water.
"There's a lot of higher activity and boating," Hurley said. "People coming out to recreate."
So, with that comes some regulations.
According to Hurley, it's Georgia law for every boat to have a life jackets for every person on board and all children 12 and under must wear one.
"If it looks like the kid is under the age of 13, we are going to stop the vessel and require them to put that life jacket on," said Hurley.
It's also the law to obey "no wake zones," to stay 100 feet from the dock and to stay sober while driving.
"If we find that you are impaired on the boat, you will go to jail. It is no different than in a vehicle. You need to make sure you are not impaired when you are driving," Hurley said.
Boating rules differ from state to state, but Tonya Fordham said you can never be too careful.
"Just as you should obey the road signs on the road, you should know all the laws for the lake, because they are for your safety. Not to hinder your fun," Fordham said.
Harden also says to be aware of children on the lake.
"Make sure you know where they're at all the time," said Harden. "Watch the whole lake, and pay attention; and if you need to slow down, let somebody by, do it."
Other lake goers also say to drink plenty of water and to stay aware of wake boarders and water skiers.
Hurley also said they'll be issuing citations for disobeying "no wake zone areas" and for passing too close to docks.
For a deep look at the law, head over to the Department of Natural Resources website.