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Holiday weekend wraps up on Lake Lanier
LanierSafety 3

FORSYTH COUNTY — The July Fourth holiday weekend proved to be a busy one for local public safety officials, who were relieved that there were no major incidents.

Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies stayed active with traffic stops and monitoring Lake Lanier throughout the long weekend.

“But thankfully we didn’t have any tragic events over the weekend,” he said.

The traffic stops resulted in five arrests for underage possession of alcohol and about 100 citations for not wearing a seat belt or having improper child safety restraints.

“Additionally, we had four misdemeanor drug arrests through traffic stops and three wanted persons were located,” Rainwater said. “Throughout the weekend, we had 68 people come through our jail, and that is much higher than a normal weekend.”

Division Chief Jason Shivers said the holiday period was “exceptionally quiet relative to anything [the Forsyth County Fire Department] would typically handle.”

“We had no activity on the lake, we had to respond to no lake or river incidents, no significant structure fires and no significant motor vehicle accidents,” Shivers said.

“So while we were prepped and ready for what certainly could have been a busy time, considering the [beautiful] weather, it was absolutely non-eventful.”

The weekend was indeed beautiful, complete with sunny skies, a full lake and high temperatures near 90 degrees. That was quite a departure from last year’s rained-out festivities.

For the state Department of Natural Resources, whose rangers patrol the waters of Lanier, the holiday weekend also was quiet, with no drownings or boating fatalities.

Just seven boating under the influence citations were issued on the lake. Three boating incidents were reported, with just one injury.

Mark McKinnon, spokesman for the law enforcement division of the DNR, said rangers did have a busy Sunday responding to incidents in northwest Georgia’s Lake Allatoona and the coast’s Little Tybee Island.

A man drowned after his boat capsized off the island on Sunday morning. And five people were injured in a boat crash late Saturday following fireworks at the Atlanta Yacht Club. All were expected to recover. One man was arrested and charged with BUI in that incident.

“[The weekend] started very well with few BUIs and no incidents on Friday,” McKinnon wrote in a news release.

“But Saturday night and Sunday proved to be more problematic with more BUIs and the two boating incidents, one resulting in a fatality.”

A total of 36 BUIs were reported statewide.


Members of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.