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Busy July Fourth weekend marked by increased boating incidents, one serious injury on Lake Lanier
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Though there were no fatalities, the Department of Natural Resources reported a higher number of boating incidents and injuries from the year before.

For this year’s Fourth of July weekend, DNR reported eight boating incidents and 10 injuries on Lake Lanier. In 2015, there were three boating incidents and no injuries.

DNR’s public affairs officer Mark McKinnon said there was one serious incident on Lanier after 6 p.m. Saturday in the Young Deer Creek area of the lake.

“One person was transported to the hospital with serious injuries,” McKinnon said.

McKinnon said the operator of the boat was charged with boating under the influence. The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety has confirmed that one of their officers has been charged after being involved in a weekend boating incident on Lake Lanier that left one man seriously injured. 

According to a statement by George Gordon, a spokesman for the agency, the officer was charged with boating under the influence by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The officer has been identified by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office as Christopher James Harrison.

Harrison was taken to the Forsyth County Jail after being arrested, where he posted a $2,750 bond on July 3.

“Additional charges may be forthcoming based on the outcome of the investigation,” McKinnon said.

McKinnon did not release any further details or the identities of those involved.

On land, there were 17 arrests for driving under the influence through the entire Fourth of July weekend, according to the Hall County Jail booking logs.

Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said the department has been looking for creative ways to handle its main focus: reducing crashes and injuries.

The department partnered with local restaurants over the weekend by providing coasters that read “Stay Alive, don’t Drink and Drive” with the department’s logo.

“They can look down at that and think about being responsible,” he said.

Forsyth County News Online Editor Jim Dean contributed to this story.

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