For the second year in a row, no one drowned or was killed on Lake Lanier over the July 4 weekend.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers did, however, make 12 boating under the influence arrests, up from eight the year before.
“It’s a disappointing statistic to me,” DNR public information officer Mark McKinnon said. “I really want to see those numbers come down, and I really want to see those numbers at zero.”
A dozen rangers on six boats patrolled Lanier over the holiday weekend.
There is no rhyme or reason, McKinnon said of the increase.
“We let them know that we’re going to be out there enforcing it,” he said. “Still, a lot of people have the mentality that drinking and boating go together.”
Rangers in the Gainesville region responded to five boating incidents and reported four injuries, compared to last year’s three incidents and single injury. McKinnon said the incidents were minor without serious injuries.
With the new law allowing the purchase of aerial fireworks, McKinnon and other DNR law enforcement remained skeptical about how it would affect the state’s waterways.
“I’m sure that there were some folks who were shooting off fireworks from their boat, but I did not have any reports from the rangers that there was anything going on that would have caused them to intervene,” he said.