Bustling with activity over Memorial Day weekend, Lake Allatoona featured several boating incidents and boating under the influence arrests over the three-day period.
“Lake Allatoona, like most of the state’s waterways, was busy as usual on Memorial Day weekend,” said Mark McKinnon, public affairs officer for Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division. “Throughout the weekend, there were three people arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and three boating incidents that resulted in two injuries.”
McKinnon shared the boating injuries occurred Sunday.
“At approximately noon on Sunday, Game Wardens responded to a boating incident on Lake Allatoona in Little River where two individuals were ejected from a vessel,” he said. “A 22-year-old female was transported to Kennestone Hospital with leg injuries. The second individual did not receive any known injuries.
“At approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, a vessel struck the wave break at Victoria Marina. There were two occupants in the vessel, but the operator was the only one injured. He was transported to Kennestone Hospital with possible head injuries. Alcohol does appear to be a factor in the case, but it is still under investigation.”
In regards to social distancing guidelines, McKinnon reported there were no issues.
“The officers encountered a few groups throughout the weekend who were in violation, but they were asked to disperse, and they complied,” he said. “There was no one cited for violating the executive order.”
According to www.sam.usace.army.mil, Lake Allatoona is “one of the most frequently visited Corps of Engineers lakes in the nation with nearly 7 million” people visiting annually.
As the summer season continues, McKinnon urged boaters need to practice various safety measures. Along with wearing a U.S. Coast Guard- approved life jacket and taking a boater education class, he also stressed the importance of not operating a watercraft while impaired or distracted.
“Not just at Allatoona Lake, but anytime you are around any body of water, it is important to exercise caution and to emphasize safety for yourself and for those in your care,” McKinnon said. “… Stay sober or designate a driver or operator. People die every year because someone chose to operate a vessel while under the influence of drugs — illegal or prescription — or alcohol. It is not worth the heartache or legal consequences that follow this illegal act. Just don’t do it. DNR Law Enforcement has a zero-tolerance policy on boating while impaired — you do it, you will go to jail. We cannot leave you out there and risk injury or death to you or someone else.”