Number of drownings on Georgia waters increases - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Number of drownings on Georgia waters increases

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BARTOW COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

As of Monday, all five victims, including a baby, have been released from the hospital following a boating accident on Lake Allatoona Saturday night.

Joseph Scott Tofil, 50, of Canton is charged with boating under the influence. DNR officials said Tofil's boat crashed into a second boat following a fireworks show at the Allatoona Yacht Club.

This holiday period there were 36 people arrested for boating under the influence and one death. In 2011, the last time the holiday fell around a weekend, there were 44 boating under the influence arrests and four drownings.

However, Mark McKinnon with the DNR said overall the number of boating and swimming incidents on Georgia waters have climbed, especially drownings.

From Jan. 1 through June 30, 2013, there were 14 drownings. In 2014, in that same period, there were 22.

Looking at the same period, there were 26 boating incidents and 14 boating injuries compared to 40 boating incidents and 28 injuries this year.

McKinnon said it's important for swimmers and boaters to take all precautions. That includes watching children carefully and not over estimating their swimming abilities.

"There's always room for improvement and our goal is to educate as much as we can," McKinnon said.

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