Boating safety tips for the summer

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LIZELLA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Department of Natural Resources wants you to have fun on your boats this summer, but that fun can easily turn into danger if you’re not careful.

“We try to encourage safety, make sure you’re wearing life vests make sure they’re completely fastened, because if it’s not fastened and secure on your body, then you’re technically still not wearing it,” said DNR’s game warden, Lamar Burns.

Not everyone over the age of 13 has to wear one, but there should always be enough life vests on the boat for each person, just in case. Burns says even the most skilled swimmers can wear vests on the boat.

If you’re towing someone, whether on a tube or skis, make sure you have a driver and an observer, that way the driver can solely focus on the water. Burns and other officers can pull you over if you don’t.

“When you come through with big wakes and waves, you’re causing boats to beat up against the rocks, boats to beat up along side the bridge frame there and not only that, all that weight, at some point can it will eventually put wear and tear on the bridge itself,” said Burns.

Burns also says that some boaters just look for shade, so, they could be stopped under the bridge.

“This is typically one of the better spots in the middle of the day when it’s super hot and you just want to get out here and cool off a little bit,” said Burns.

There aren’t lanes out the water so watch your surroundings and be considerate.

“The thing that we want folks to understand is that their safety is important to us regardless of the situation we’re going enforce and drill safety,” said Burns.

He also wants to remind you it is illegal to drink and drive a boat.

Once all the fun is done, make sure your boats are secure. You don’t want it drifting away or being a danger to other boaters.