SML Fire crews advocate for safety after uptick of incidents around the lake

FILE - SML (photo: WSET)

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WSET) -- The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue says there seems to be an uptick in the number and severity of incidents around the lake over the past several weeks.

There have been two separate drownings at the lake in 2017.

A nine-year-old boy drowned at the lake over the weekend and a Nelson County man drowned at the lake in July.

Another incident included two 14-year-olds who were very seriously injured while operating jet skis in Hatcher Creek; the fire department said the jet skis collided with each other at high speeds resulting in their injuries.

A man was seriously injured after he fell from the upper deck of a rented houseboat, which was anchored in a cove along Smith Mountain Lake in mid-July.

Also, the fire department came across an abandoned boat that ended up sinking and required containment of spilled fuel and oil at the end of July.

They said there have been a couple incidents where people have fallen between their docks and boat lifts, causing injuries, and some people have also been hurt after falling while wake boarding.

"This is probably a good time to re-affirm our commitment to safety. Alcohol and watersports don’t mix and wearing PFD saves lives," said Fire Chief John Honaker & President Tommy Lovegrove. "Be careful out there !"

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