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Sunday May 19th, 2019 8:56PM

State officials predict busier than normal boating season

By Caleb Hutchins Reporter

With the warmer weather and holiday weekends arriving, the National Safe Boating Council is getting ready to once again launch "Safe Boating Week" across the country.

The week will kick off the council's 60th annual boating safety campaign. It's a joint effort of the council and the National Weather Service to release public advisements about safe boating practices.

Major Stephen Adams with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said it could be a higher traffic boating season than normal for 2018 on Lake Lanier.

"We had a pretty rough winter, and now we're having these 80 degree days. I was out on Lake Lanier yesterday, there's already a good amount of boat traffic. What you would see in June is already on the lake now in May," Adams said.

He said that the most important safety tip for boating in high traffic times is for drivers to be aware of all sides of the boat.

"As opposed to looking in the front of you in a car, where a car may come out from the right or the left or you're in a lane of traffic, with a vessel you've got 360 degrees that you have to be aware of," Adams said. "Because there are no, per se, lanes, especially on inland waterways like Lanier."

According to statistics from the DNR, Lake Lanier saw 34 boating incidents in 2017; there were 18 injuries and two fatalities related to those incidents. There were also 48 citations issued for BUI, or Boating Under the Influence.

More safe boating tips can be found on the safe boating council's website.

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