Wednesday is the first day of summer, but temperatures have already started to skyrocket in the state. Georgia's lakes and rivers offer a great, free way to cool off in the hot summer months.
However, the murky, deep water can make swimming in a lake or river dangerous at times. Below, we've included a few tips to help you stay safe while cooling off in Georgia's lakes and rivers.
Swimming in a lake or river can be more dangerous than swimming in a pool, especially for kids. The dark, cloudy water can make it hard for parents to spot their children. Lakes and rivers are often deeper than even the deep end of a swimming pool, placing kids outside of their comfort zone. On top of that, the muddy floor of a lake can make it hard to get adequate footing.
Lake Lanier, in particular, is notorious for drowning incidents. Just this April, the bodies of a father and his stepson were pulled from the lake, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Jose Alfredo Benitez and 14-year-old Carlos Amaya drowned while trying to swim across a cove.
There are a few things you can do to stay safe while swimming in Lake Lanier or any other of the state's lakes or rivers.
- Make sure your kids wear bright colors to stay visible in the murky water.
- You and your kids should stay in water shallow enough to comfortably stand in.
- If you have young children, you may want to consider having them wear live preservers or floatees while swimming.
Boating on Georgia's lakes can be dangerous as well. On Monday, two children were killed and two others injured when a fishing boat collided with a pontoon boat carrying the children on Lake Lanier, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Paul Bennett, the driver of the fishing boat, was charged with boating under the influence over the incident.
The first step in boating safely is staying sober. It's illegal to operate a boat in Georgia while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So if you get stuck driving, lay off the beer. You should also keep life jackets for everyone on the boat, stick to the posted speed limits, and keep an eye out for anyone who may be swimming nearby.
These tips should help you stay safe while having fun and cooling off on Georgia's lakes and rivers. Have a great and safe summer.
- Find an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Father, Son Drown During Rescue Try on Lake Lanier (NBC News)
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