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Georgia Power Shares Water and Boating Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

For those planning to head out on the lakes this holiday weekend, remember to review water safety tips with your family.

Summer is right around the corner and as the largest non-governmental provider of recreation facilities in Georgia with 17 lakes statewide, Georgia Power encourages residents to practice water and boating safety on the lakes this Memorial Day weekend.

Sadly, 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, the organizations aim to greatly reduce the number of these deaths and injuries.

When enjoying outdoor water activities, it’s important to understand the difference between pools and natural water bodies. Lakes, rivers and oceans often have changing currents, unknown water depths, limited visibility and hidden features beneath the water.

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.

Georgia Power is also joining with other organizations across the country to recognize this week as National Safe Boating Week – a time to highlight and reinforce the importance of safety on the country’s lakes, rivers and oceans. Boaters visiting any of Georgia Power’s lakes can ensure 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.

Visit Georgia Power's Lakes & Recreation site to find detailed information about all of Georgia Power’s properties, including facilities and amenities, local attractions and water safety information. On the site, visitors can also check current lake conditions, virtually explore camp sites and browse an interactive fish guide for each of the lakes.