Memorial Day Boating Tips

WEST POINT, Ga. (WXTX) - Memorial Day is the perfect time to relax and take the boat to the lake, but fun can turn into tragedy if some precautions aren't taken. Fox 54 found out how to stay safe and enjoy the holiday.

West Point Lake's Ranger Supervisor David Barr said, "Typically Memorial Day is the first major holiday of the season and that brings everyone out here to West Point to recreate."

Memorial Day means camping, fishing and boating for West Point Lake visitors.

"We are expecting the campgrounds to be filled up. As a matter of fact we just have a few vacant spots on all four campgrounds open for the season," Barr said.

Recently lake levels have been an issue, but Barr says there's no need to worry for the upcoming weekend, "Due to recent rainfall, lake levels are over full pool. We plan to draw it down a little to get closer to the rule curve."

Officials are prepared for the big turn-out. "All park rangers will be working this weekend out in full force, as well as our attendants, our deputies on the lake, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and our U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary," explained Barr. And they all encourage boaters to avoid drinking and be alert while on the water, "We've had a number of drownings this year at West Point Lake because people didn't use common sense or thought through the process and weren't wearing a life jacket. Life jackets save lives and the only way they work is if you wear them."

If you'd like to learn more about boating safety, or a child between the age of 12 and 15 in your family needs to obtain their watercraft license, you're chance is coming up. West Point Lake is holding classes May 19th and 21st from 6:30 to 9:30 PM.  Registration is $15 per person and you can sign up by calling (706)645-2937.