GAINESVILLE -- The Hall County government has announced that it will join a national effort to promote safe boating practices later this month in what is being called "National Safe Boating Week".
A proclamation was read at the Hall County Commission's Wednesday meeting, saying the county would recognize the week of May 20 through May 27 and look to promote things like life jacket use, staying sober and monitoring the weather to try to prevent boating deaths. Commissioner Billy Powell read the proclamation and recognized members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary of Lake Lanier.
"It is unfortunate that an average of 700 people die each year in boating related accidents in the United States," Powell read. "Nearly 70 percent of these fatalities are caused by human error or poor judgment rather than mechanical or environmental factors."
The proclamation Powell read also encouraged boaters to file a float plan and make sure they are in compliance with all Coast Guard regulations. One Coast Guard Auxiliary member was invited to speak to the audience, saying the agency has already seen Lake Lanier boaters taking initiative.
"We deal with boaters, sometimes 700 vessel examinations a year," Joseph Edwards with the Coast Guard Auxiliary said. "They're showing us they're very proud of what they've done for their boat to be safe for the day, and we admire that."
The week is being promoted by the National Safe Boating Council and comes with National Safety Month, which is recognized across the country every June.
Lake Lanier saw more than double the amount of deaths in 2016 as it did in 2015, according to statements made at the county commission meeting.