DNR checks on Labor Day boater safety

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Sept. 3, 2007

LINCOLN CTY, Ga.---As people celebrate Labor Day, law enforcement is making sure everyone is following the rules. It's not just on land, but on the water too.

News 12 went for a ride with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as officers check up on boaters.

It's Labor Day and that means its the unofficial end of summer. And while people are out partying on land, other people are taking their festivities to the water.

It's onto the water with drinks, food and sometimes violations this holiday.

"They'll put safety aside because fun comes foremost in their minds. They'll take shortcuts," says Max Arrington.

"We're going to pull up to you, you just hold right there," says Bobby Timmerman.

She's been stopped for creating a wake between the two buoys underneath this bridge. This time only a verbal warning.

"Between the two buoys is idle speed only. Listen, while I got you here, I'm going to go and check all your safety equipment," says Bobby.

Including life jackets for every person on board. If the boat is bigger than 16 feet it needs a fire extinguisher and throw cushion for safety. She's got everything she needs.

"Alright, you all have yourself a safe weekend. Thank you so much!," says Bobby.

Feel like popping the top on a beer today? We didn't find anyone drinking but did you know the rules on land are the same on water? A .08 and you're legally drunk.

"Anytime we see alcohol in the vestal, we are going to check the driver to see if they are able to drive," says Bobby.

Everything Max Arrington needs is on his boat. But, the officers spots a problem.

"You all have another life jacket or is that the only one you got? 'The child life jacket we have is too small for her.' Because that one is really too big for her," says Bobby.

He loans one of DNR's life jackets but just for the day. Max knows how important safety is, especially with 2 young kids on board.

"You hear about people drowning all the time and you certainly do not want to be a victim of it," says Max.

Kris Norris is enjoying his day on the water.

"How are you doing? I'm Bobby Timmerman from DNR. The reason we stopped you is we are going to do a boat inspection."

Nothing for Kris to worry about. With life jackets, fire extinguisher and cushion, he's good to go!

DNR officials tell News 12 it's been a pretty quiet Labor Day Weekend.

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