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.