Lake Lanier: Fun for the Whole Family
Lake Lanier is a man-made lake in northern Georgia. The impounded waters of the Chattahoochee River have formed this beautiful lake, which has nearly 700 miles of shoreline. Lake Lanier was named after Sidney Lanier, a poet and musician born in Georgia. Since its formation, Lake Lanier has become extremely popular with vacationers, and over 7 million people come to this lake each year to enjoy themselves. A great variety of activities and opportunities for recreation are available at Lake Lanier, and the intricate coastline makes this an interesting, as well as beautiful, vacation spot. Spread across the lake are over 100 islands, many of them affording a chance to see various wildlife. Deer and other animals can often be seen coming to the shoreline for a drink. In addition to other activities, swimming and boating are two activities that can be enjoyed at Lake Lanier.
When visiting such a beautiful spot as Lake Lanier, it is obvious that swimming is one of the primary activities at the lake. People of all ages can enjoy themselves at the beaches and swimming areas provided. Besides the many recreational areas run by the Army Corps of Engineers, there are other beach areas along the shore of Lake Lanier available for public use. However, be aware that all swim areas are “swim at your own risk.”
To make certain that your visit to Lake Lanier is as enjoyable as possible, it is important to keep in mind several safety factors. To begin with, you should know how to swim before you go into the water. It is easy to lose your footing or step into a drop off, and if you are not a swimmer, you can find yourself in trouble. If you do not know how to swim, or are not comfortable in deep water, be sure to wear some type of personal flotation device. Along with this, it is important to stay in areas that have been designated as safe for swimming. These areas have been checked out, and are away from the traffic of boats and other types of watercraft. Jumping into the water from just any spot can lead to trouble for even an experienced swimmer.
Be sure you swim with a friend. Solitary swimming may be fine for the fishes, but if you have any trouble, there will be someone to help you out if you have a friend along. And, be sure to keep an eye on young children. Children can easily stray into areas that may be unsafe for them, so it is up to the adults in the party to watch the youngsters.
Boating – Be a Safe Skipper
There isn’t anything more enjoyable on a beautiful day than to take your boat out onto Lake Lanier. Cruising along the magnificent shoreline and islands can make any day special. But, remembering to boat safely is just as important as anything else, maybe more so. Having an accident or causing injury to yourself or someone else has no part in safe boating.
One of the most important facets of boating safety is knowing how to properly operate your boat. Some boat operators have a more carefree attitude about boating than they do about driving a car. There really is not much difference, and knowing how to operate your boat correctly is important for a safe outing. Showing courtesy to other boaters, and being constantly aware of your surroundings will also help to assure your safety.
Just as drinking and driving do not mix, neither do drinking and boating. Your judgment and reflexes are just as impaired when you’re steering a boat after having a few drinks as they are when you’re behind the wheel of your car. The State of Georgia does allow blood tests to determine BUI (Boating Under the Influence), and the use of hand held of portable BUI enforcement equipment. So do not drink and drive a boat.
Part of safe boating is making sure that any safety and emergency equipment you might need is aboard. Also, being certain that your fuel tank is full before leaving the dock will help make sure that you aren’t left sitting “dead in the water” because you’ve run out of gas. Life jackets should be worn at all times while on a boat, and should be a proper fit for all ages.
Lake Lanier is a great place for boats to pull water skiers or riders on towable tubes. So be on the watch for these activities if you are cruising around the lake. If you are operating the boat for the skiers and riders, be sure to have “spotter” on board that can watch for other boats or swimmers in the area, and for communication / hand signals from the people being pulled. Also be aware of the lake conditions during the ride – shallow water, location of docks, proximity to shoreline, obstacles in the water. Avoid those areas, as they can be hazardous to tubers or skiers.
A few more reminders will assure that your boating on Lake Lanier is safe:
• Make sure you have looked at the weather forecast – if rain or thunderstorms are predicted, it would probably be better to stay at the dock or marina; if
• Also, know where you plan to be going on the lake, and let others know in case you have any problems.
Following these relatively simple rules is easy and will make your visits to Lake Lanier fun and relaxing.