Labor Day weekend is a popular time to spend the final days of summer outdoors with friends and family. As the largest non-governmental provider of recreation facilities in Georgia with over 15 lakes statewide, Georgia Power is encouraging residents to review water and boating safety tips before hitting the water this holiday weekend.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1 to 4 years of age, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health and SPLASH, a longstanding Georgia Department of Natural Resources initiative supported by Georgia Power. Through public outreach, we aim to reduce the number of these deaths and injuries.
SPLASH recommends citizens follow these tips:
- Supervision – Designate an adult to watch children at all times. Do not assume someone else is watching.
- Prevention – Wear personal flotation devices (PFD or life jacket), install fencing around pools, and use drain covers in pools.
- Look before you leap – Never jump into water without knowing how deep it is and what is below the surface.
- Arm's Length – Adults should be arm's length to children in water, and safety tools such as hooks should be nearby at all times.
- Swim Lessons – Knowing how to swim greatly reduces the chance of drowning. Classes are often available through the Red Cross or YMCA.
- Have a Water Safety Plan – Know what to do during an emergency.
The company also wants boaters on any of Georgia Power’s lakes to have a safe and enjoyable experience by remembering simple safety tips such as:
- Wear a Life Jacket – Young or old, and no matter how well you can swim, always wear a properly fitted life jacket (or a personal flotation device) while on the water.
- Know Boating Laws – Review the “rules of the road” such as operator’s responsibility, maintaining a proper lookout, crossing, meeting head-on, and overtaking situations. Lakes also have speed limits just like roads, so watch for signage and follow the posted instructions, including “No Wake” zones, areas around hydroelectric dams, power lines and more.
- Check the Weather – Before you head out on the water, make sure you are aware of the latest marine weather forecast and regularly check conditions.
- Emergency Communication – Have at least two communication devices that work when wet, such as such as a satellite phone or VHF radio and know how to use them.
- Light at Night – Make sure your boat is equipped with proper lighting if you are going to be on the water at night.
Residents can visit georgiapowerlakes.com to learn more about the company’s lakes. For more detailed information about all of Georgia Power’s properties, including facilities and amenities, check out Georgia Power's Lakes & Recreation site.