Ala. boat repair shop shares safety tips amid recent drowning at Lake Harding in Lee County

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:32 PM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - On May 6, Friday evening, a man was reported missing after jumping into the water to try and save his young son, who fell overboard.

The incident occurred in the Halawakee Creek area, east of the Chattahoochee Valley Railroad trestle.

A father and his son were enjoying a day out on the lake Friday evening when things took a turn for the worst.

According to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, 30-year-old Jacob Davidson and his 6-year-old son were on a boat when the child fell overboard.

That’s when Davidson jumped in to rescue his son.

High winds blew their boat away. Harris says a boater heard screaming and went out to assist the victims.

The 6-year-old, wearing a life vest, was safely lifted onto another boat.

The father went under and never resurfaced. In addition, Harris says the father was not wearing a life vest.

Davidson’s body was found Sunday.

[Click here to read more details about the Lake Harding drowning]

The summer boating season is just kicking off, and we want all of our viewers to be aware of the dangers on the water.

Levi Mayfield works at JetWorks, where he repairs boats and jet skis.

Although he says some boats have specialty horns for emergencies, if a boat doesn’t come with one, he recommends all boat owners buy one in case of an emergency.

“If people are cutting in front of you or if you ever need it just there is a horn that’s made on the boat or a push button and the ones that are there are portable,” said Mayfield.

Owner of JetWorks Chad Morgan says if someone is under the age of 12, they should always have on a life vest. It’s also good to keep spares on board too.

“Stay 100 feet away from any boats, my other opinion stay at least 100 feet away from other peoples docks. The main thing is to keep kids in a life jacket you know even if they can swim,” said Morgan.

Morgan works on jet skis and boats, and he talked on the phone about essential safety precautions while on the lake. On average, Alabama and Georgia each saw 100 boat wrecks per year; 25% led to deaths and around 60 injuries.

“It’s a good thing too to have a throwable cushion or a life jacket close to you, as far as being the captain on the boat that way you could throw it if somebody did fall off your boat or you could actually come up on somebody else that maybe was in trouble,” added Morgan.

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