Despite Deaths, BUIs Abound on Georgia Lakes
Latest report from DNR rangers shows boating and skiing under the influence continued even as divers searched for the body of the victim of a BUI accident.
Even as they were assisting in a search for the body of 13-year-old Griffin Prince last month, rangers from Georgia Department of Natural Resources continued to rack up boating under the influence arrests. The teen and his brother, Jake Prince, 9, were killed when the pontoon they were riding in was hit by an alleged drunk boater.
In the weekly report, DNR rangers reported on the following BUI arrests on local lakes:
- While assisting with recovery operations on Lake Lanier for Griffin Prince, rangers were diverted to a boat accident not too far away. The 18-year-old operator of that boat was arrested and charged with BUI.
- While conducting routine patrol on Lake Allatoona, rangers noticed someone acting suspiciously. The boat was stopped and the operator found to be under the influence. He was arrested and charged with BUI.
On June 23
- Several operators were screened for alcohol and released with more sober boat operators behind the wheel.
- A vessel was stopped for violating rules of the road in a blind spot in one of the sharp bends of the Etowah River. As the rangers initiated their blue lights, the operator slid out from behind the wheel and dove into the lake attempting to hide behind the out drive of the vessel. After talking the operator back into the vessel, it was determined that he and his skier had been consuming alcohol. The operator was arrested for operating a vessel under the influence and the skier was arrested for skiing under the influence.
- While assisting in the search for the body of the 13-year-old missing in Lake Lanier following a BUI accident, rangers saw a Personal Watercraft doing "donuts" within 40 feet of the Tow Boat USA that was attempting to help a stranded boater. An 18-year-old was arrested and charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and operating a PWC within 100 feet of another vessel at more than idle speed.
On June 24
- While on routine patrol rangers arrested one subject for BUI and failure to obey regulatory marker and another one for BUI and not having their registration numbers displayed.
- Rangers arrested one subject for BUI and child endangerment.
- While using night vision goggles rangers saw a boat traveling without navigation lights. The operator, who was under 21, was charged with operating a vessel without lights and boating under the influence (BUI.).
- While attempting to talk to a subject about his drunk and disorderly behavior in the park when the man suddenly jumped into Allatoona Lake and swam across a cove. Rangers called for backup and ranger rangers entered the woods at the point where the man came out of the water. They found him attempting to hide behind a fallen log a few minutes later. The belligerent man was taken into custody and charged with several counts of disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
- Rangers patrolling Lake Lanier by boat issued 11 citations and warnings and made 1 arrest for BUI. A second boat patrolling on Lake Lanie made two BUI arrests.
- Rangers were working in the area of Illinois Creek on Lake Allatoona. Illinois Creek is known as a "party cove." The officers noticed a boat coming out of the area with an improper registration, displaying a Florida registration sticker alongside a Georgia registration number. The boat was stopped for the improper registration and the rangers also completed a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, the operator was asked if he had been drinking that day and he replied that he had drunk "6 or 7 beers all day". There was a plastic garbage bag hanging off the side of the boat with several dozen empty beer cans. The operator was tested and found to be under the influence of alcohol. There were also four children on board, all under the age of 14. The operator was charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment.
- Two boating accidents on Lake Lanier required victims being transported to the hospital. All individuals were treated and released.
- While patrolling on Lake Allatooner, rangers arrested two people and charged them with BUI.
However, it wasn’t all bad news. On June 30, rangers patrolling Lake Allatoona were able to photograph a man using a water foot ski device attached to a personal watercraft. The ski boot utilized the discharge water from the personal watercraft via a hose and created lift with water pressure.
The operator told them that when fully functional, the ski boot device would allow him to “jet” up to thirty feet in the air, which was the length of the hose connected to the personal watercraft. This Youtube video shows just how the jetpack works.