The recent tragic incidents on Lake Lanier have brought on significant media attention and has increased the conversation among the public and local and state authorities on “how to make Lake Lanier more safe.”
Notwithstanding these horrific events, and not diminishing their significance, I wonder where all of this media attention and conversation was last year when there were 17 water-related fatalities as compared to five this year?
Don’t get me wrong; I welcome the attention because it does have people thinking and talking about how to make Lake Lanier more safe. If the same amount of media attention was brought to each tragic incident at Lake Lanier, maybe it would keep people thinking and talking about how to be safe and thus, the lake becomes more safe.
The discussion ranges from “drain the lake” to “the lake is perfectly safe.” It includes “enacting more laws” to “the current laws are adequate.” It includes speed limits, big lights for night time boating, licensing, education, wearing life jackets and on and on.
The legislature will do what it deems necessary to do. So what can you do? Believe it or not, you are doing it. By thinking and talking about how to be safe on the water it remains in the forefront of your thoughts.
If it is there, then maybe you will be safe on the water. Keep doing it, talk about it all the time. Talk about it with your friends and family, make it dinner conversation. Talk about it at work. Talk about it wherever you go and with whomever you meet.
Talk about it on the way to the lake (ask yourself if you will be going home today?). Talk about it while at the lake. Talk about it on the way home from the lake.
But even more importantly, practice what you talk and stress the importance to those you are with to practice what you talk. Individual responsibility, choosing your actions, is the best way to enhance your safety and the safety of others.
Timothy A. Rainey
Operations Project Manager, Lake Lanier, Buford Dam