Busy Holiday Weekend on Lake Hartwell Includes BUI Arrest, Death
The official summer season is over but not before two major incidents on Lake Hartwell over the weekend, including a death.
On the Georgia side, DNR officials say an Anderson man faces a long list of charges that begin with boating under the influence.
DNR Law Enforcement officer Craig Fulghum said a routine boat check Sunday evening in the Paynes Creek area of Lake Hartwell led to the arrest.
“I arrested a BUI in Hart County,” he said. “There five children on the boat and four were not wearing life jackets. So I stopped the boat and the driver was under influence. For every child under the age of 14 that’s a separate count of child endangerment. There were 14 people on the boat. So that’s five separate counts of child endangerment. I’ve never had that happen on Lake Hartwell. That’s pretty big.”
The boater is identified as Mark Timothy Allen of Pintail Road in Anderson.
He is charged with Boating Under the Influence, five counts of Child Endangerment, and Allowing Children Under 14 to Not Wear Life Jackets.
He was arrested and taken to the Hart County Detention Center.
Fulghum says this Labor Holiday weekend was one of the busiest ever on Lake Hartwell.
“Incredibly busy; probably the busiest weekend I’ve ever seen on Lake Hartwell. We hadn’t had a lot of incidents, just a lot of people. It’s usually that way on Lake Hartwell. The busiest weekends are the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, but this one was the busiest I’ve ever seen.”
Then Monday morning on the South Carolina side, two fishermen on Lake Hartwell called authorities to report a possible drowning in the waters off Highway 123 near a bridge that connects Pickens and Oconee counties.
Oconee County Fire Chief Charlie King said local volunteer fire departments, first responders, and Oconee County EMS arrived on the scene and found the body just after 7a Monday morning.
King said the Oconee County Sheriff’s office along with the coroner’s office and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are investigating.
However, Oconee County Sheriff’s spokeman Jimmy Watt tells WNEG News it appears to have been a suicide.
The name of the victim has not been released.