Water Safety During G-8 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/07/04

Water Safety During G-8

The G-8 summit on Sea Island is just a few weeks away, and law enforcement agencies are taking every precaution to make sure everything is safe both on land and on sea. Today the Georgia Department of Natural Resources took WTOC for a ride aboard the 60-foot shrimp boat Anna to show us how law enforcement teams will monitor the waters.

The DNR is trying to think of any possible scenario that can happen during the summit, not only to keep the waters safe but also to keep marine life safe.

"Basically, recreational traffic won't be involved in those areas," said Capt. Homer Bryson, part of the DNR's Water Law Enforcement Team. He, along with other agencies from across the state, will be patrolling the waters around Sea Island 24/7, making sure anyone who doesn't belong near the island during the G-8 won't be there.

"To be on Sea Island, first they're going to really know the area and second, it's going to take an awful lot to pass all the eyes and ears before they get close to Sea Island," he said.

And keeping people away from Sea Island isn't the only concern for the Department of Natural Resources. While on the waters, we got a very rare glimpse of a sea turtle when it was accidentally caught in the net. The DNR says these turtles will be nesting on Sea Island during the summit, and they are making sure patrols will not effect sea creatures during their nesting season.

"Beach is important area that's going to be patrolled for obvious reasons, but they are certainly going to be sensitive to the fact of the sea turtles," said Spud Woodward with the DNR's Coastal Resources Division.

But keeping the waters and the local marine life safe is not going to be an easy task, so agents say they are anticipating anything that may come their way. "Basically, we want to make sure who's on the water and what they're doing," said Capt. Bryson. "We just don't want any surprises."

The Water Law Enforcement Team could not disclose much of their safety measures. Right now, they do plan to allow commercial fishermen on the water but again they said anything can change between now and June.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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