Patrol boat helps enforce safety during July 4th celebrations - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Patrol boat helps enforce safety during July 4th celebrations

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

QUITMAN COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Joel Brazier has been coming to Lake George since he was a teenager. Passing on the tradition, he now brings his family to the lake once a week during the summer.

Brazier says 4th of July weekend is one of the busiest times of the year at the lake and sometimes people forget to obey the rules that could potentially keep them out of danger.

"Maintaining a safe distance watching out for skiers and always scanning the horizon for other boaters," Brazier said.

Brazier says Boaters sometime get caught up in all the excitement and disregard how dangerous the water can be. That's why Chief Sheriff Deputy Javier Garcia will be on high alert on Monday. Deputy Garcia took us out in the county's new emergency response boat. Something he says Quitman County desperately needed.

"We have had several incidents out here where we have been deployed to do rescue operations on the water ways, we also had some incidents where people are out here shooting guns we've responded to. This boat has definitely been an incredible asset to us," Deputy Garcia said.

The boat was donated to the county by the U.S. Army. It has towing capabilities, and even an emergency rescue component. At a moment's notice Sheriffs deputies can get to any location on the water. They handle everything from speeding tickets, boat problems, and emergency rescue.

Thursday News Leader 9 went out to the middle of the lake and saw areas that people frequent the most. Deputy Garcia says he's hoping that their presence patrolling the lake this holiday will keep everyone happy, and above all safe.

"Be careful, cautions there's other boaters out here, be mindful of other people on the water, and just be very, very courteous. We are all here to have a good time and we wanted everyone to go home at the end of the day and not have any problems," Garcia said.

And Joel Brazier is hoping to avoid problems this holiday. As frequent boater he cautions people about the dangers of water and alcohol, two things he says don't mix.

"You have to follow the same guidelines you do in an automobile if someone is consuming you need to have a designated driver," Brazier said.

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