So far in the year 2020, Georgia law enforcement authorities believe that there have been as many as 31 boating accident related deaths in the local lakes and rivers.
We are in the middle of the year’s busiest boating season with several weeks of boating activity yet to go, so these numbers are very worrisome. According to Georgia law enforcement officers, there have been a total of 31 boating accident related deaths, including those caused by crashes or by drownings this year alone, across the state. And with the boating activity that typically takes place during the 4th of July holiday weekend, these numbers will undoubtedly rise.
The boating accident statistics were revealed during the launch of a joint campaign by the states of Georgia and Alabama, to crack down on intoxicated boating over the 4th of July weekend. Boating activity increases across Georgia during the summer months, and this is often accompanied with increased alcohol consumption as well. This deadly combination means an increased risk to boaters, who may be at risk of not just boating crashes, but also accidental drownings and other accidents that can result in serious injuries.
The campaign, Operation Dry Water is a nationwide, all-year round campaign that specifically focuses on boating safety and preventing common safety violations, like boating under the influence of alcohol. According to Georgia authorities, there were a total of 69 boating accident – related deaths in 2019. The picture this year doesn’t seem to be better despite of the pandemic. What’s more surprising is that we could actually even be heading towards even greater numbers this year. The authorities say that there has been a spike in the number of boating related violations that law enforcement officials have been cracking down on over the summer.
With several weeks of summer yet to go, and Georgians just beginning to emerge from shelter-in-place rules to socialize and entertain on the water, it is very important for boaters to understand that the waters are not safer now, or less busy as a result of the pandemic. In fact, according to reports, boating activity in Georgia has been strong not just over the 4th of July weekend, but all through the summer thus far. That means that you are sharing the waters with a large number of boats and other water vehicles, many of which will be operated by people under the influence of alcohol.
The effects of alcohol tend to become even more pronounced on water, because of the warm weather, the lull of the open water, breeze and good company. All of these can combine to make a person even more relaxed and less cautious, with possibly disastrous results.
If you are out on the water this summer, make sure that you are on a watercraft that is being operated by a trained boater. This operator must absolutely abstain from drinking alcohol while out on the water. Just like you have designated drivers to take you safely home to your destination when you’ve been out drinking, have a designated boater whose job is to be sober while at the driving the boat.
The Atlanta boating accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons who have been injured as a result of boating accidents across Georgia. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, talk to an attorney at our firm about your legal options for a claim.