Deadly weekend of drownings, boating accidents on Georgia lakes

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The Army Corps of Engineers and Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources officers were out on Georgia lakes and rivers patrolling this Memorial Day.

Memorial Day weekend, across the state, there were four drownings and five boating deaths reported by the Department of Natural Resources.

One drowning happened at Lake Lanier. Another happened at Lake Allatoona which claimed the life of 5-year-old Kaiden Franklin on Saturday. DNR officials tell CBS46 that witnesses reported seeing Kaiden playing on a float and then going missing from it. His body was later recovered.

Kaiden had just graduated kindergarten at Model Elementary in Calhoun. Their school leaders released this statement:

“Our deepest pain is having to share the passing of one of our own school babies. Our hearts are broken to have to share this news with our school family.”

Chief Ranger Rusty Simmons patrolled Lake Allatoona Monday doing everything from life vest checks to alcohol compliance checks.

“We try to promote wearing your life jacket. But also, knowing the rules of the water, which a lot of people do not know,” Simmons told CBS46.

Simmons says the rules of the water are much like the rules of the road. Buoys in the water and other signs signal when to slow down and how to yield to other boaters in traffic.

They’re trying to offer preventative steps to keep people safe before they hit the water, especially children.