HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are getting ready for a bustling weekend on the waters in Georgia.
Just an hour north of metro Atlanta sits the state's busiest lake, where millions of people visit each year. DNR officials said they are planning for a record weekend on Lake Lanier based on the expected forecast.
Game wardens said they will begin to see traffic on Lake Lanier as soon as Thursday evening. That's why the DNR is partnering with the Georgia State Patrol and others for their Belts and Jackets Safety campaign to remind visitors to buckle up in cars and put on their life vests on boats.
DNR spokesperson Mark McKinnon said this weekend marks the official start of summer and they want to make sure all visitors enjoy the lake safely.
“We want Georgians and those who travel through Georgia every day of the year to be safe on the highways and the waterways," adds McKinnon.
In 2022, officials said they responded to over 50 drownings and 23 boating-related deaths in Georgia, adding they've responded to 16 deaths just this year.
They said in most cases, fatalities could have been prevented by simply wearing a life jacket. They're also reminding folks to never drink and go boating, and make sure they follow boating and navigational rules.