Boating and swimming in local lakes and other waterways is a popular summertime
activity for many Georgia residents. However, it is important to take
heed to safety precautions in order to ensure that your activities do
not result in injury to yourself or others around you.
Over the weekend, two Georgia men lost their lives in separate drowning
accidents while swimming in nearby lakes. On Sunday afternoon, a 33 year
old Atlanta resident drowned in Lake Lanier, located just northeast of
Atlanta. According to a statement issued by the Georgia Department of
Natural Resources, the man was on an eight by ten foot float along with
several friends, swimming and enjoying the day. At approximately three
o’clock in the afternoon, he jumped into the river near the Two
Mile Island chain, located in Forsyth County. The man did not resurface
and a search was initiated. His body was recovered about an hour later,
in a cove that measured approximately 40 feet deep.
A second man drowned at the August Sailing Club on Thurmond Lake the same
evening. He was swimming with five friends near West Dam. The group attempted
to reach a buoy approximately 50 yards from the area that had been roped
off for swimming. The other men made it, however, the victim went under
and did not resurface.
Half of all drowning accidents occur in natural water settings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is
the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among all Americans
and the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among children
between the ages of 1 and 14 years old. Approximately half of these drowning
accidents occur in
natural water settings including: lakes, rivers, and oceans. Males account for nearly
90 percent of all drowning accidents that occur in natural waters.
Swimmers often overestimate their ability to swim in open waters.
In some cases drowning accidents occur because the victim overestimated
their ability to swim in natural waters. It is often difficult to gauge
distances in open waters. In addition, the current flow is much more powerful
and the water temperature is colder than expected, which can impact motor
function. Finally, drowning victims sometimes disregard posted warning
signs, or owners of the property may have failed to warn patrons of the
hazards of swimming in a particular area.
Boating accidents also lead to drowning accidents.
However, boating accidents are also responsible for a significant number
of drowning accidents that occur in natural waters. The United States
Coast Guard estimates that approximately 75 percent of those who lose
their lives in boating accidents do so as a result of drowning. In about
a quarter of these accidents, the boat was anchored, docked, moored, or
drifting when the incident occurred. Boating accidents that result in
drowning may be caused by a variety of factors including: alcohol consumption,
lack of training, and operator error.
If you or a loved one have been injured, or if a loved one has been killed
in a drowning accident, you should speak to an attorney immediately. An
attorney can review the circumstances of your case to determine whether
someone else’s negligence contributed to your injuries. If so, your
attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.