Originally created 07/06/06

Holiday relatively quiet on water



Lake Oconee led the state in boating under the influence arrests during an otherwise quiet July Fourth weekend, according to Georgia's Wildlife Resources Division.

Law enforcement rangers made 45 arrests statewide for boating under the influence from Saturday through Tuesday night - with 12 of those arrests occurring at Lake Oconee, west of Augusta. One arrest was reported at Thurmond Lake.

One boating fatality occurred during the weekend near Milledgeville, Ga., at Lake Sinclair, where 48-year-old Mark Baxter Lanier was struck by a boat while watching a fireworks display; and a weekend drowning near Brunswick, Ga., remained under investigation Wednesday.

Other statewide totals included 16 boating accidents resulting in 10 mostly minor injuries; and five personal watercraft accidents resulting in three injuries, Wildlife Resources Division spokeswoman Helen Fosgate said.

"It was a relatively quiet July Fourth holiday," she said, noting that Tuesday's incidents included mostly boating under the influence arrests on state reservoirs.

In South Carolina, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Brett Witt said authorities investigated at least one drowning and several boating accidents with no serious injuries. He did not have details Wednesday about the drowning.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.