DNR urges caution on Lake Lanier

File Photo . Lake Lanier

File Photo . Lake Lanier

With a pair of fatal accidents on Lake Lanier already this year, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging caution on one of the state's busiest waterways.

On Saturday, a two-boat accident late at night claimed the life of Stephen Blake Jones, 59, of Duluth.

A week earlier, authorities believe 14-year-old Carlos Amaya "became distressed" while swimming on the lake. His stepfather, 40-year-old Jose Alfredo Benitez of Lawrenceville, attempted to save him when both went under and drowned.

"You have more and more people visiting Lake Lanier every year," Sgt. Lee Brown, a DNR conservation ranger, said. "That's when you tend to have more incidents."

Brown offered several tips for staying safe on the water.

-- Children should be supervised and wear a lifejacket at all times.

-- Don't drink and boat. "Have a designated driver, just like you would on the highway," Brown said.

-- Make sure lights are working. You may be able to navigate the lake without them -- but that doesn't mean other boats can see you.

-- Never swim alone, and only swim in supervised areas.

-- Know your boat's load capacity.

For more information and tips, visit goboatgeorgia.com.