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First responders see big increase in incidents at Smith Mountain Lake

Officials now issuing safety reminders

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – First responders are warning people hitting the water about safety after an increase in emergency calls.

Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue reports multiple serious incidents over the past few weeks. That includes two drownings, teens injured when jet skis collided, a man falling from the deck of a houseboat, an abandoned boat leaking fuel, and multiple injuries from people falling from docks or while wake boarding.

Officials say many of these incidents could have been avoided.

"I think people are having fun and forgetting about how dangerous the water is, forgetting to put on a PFD and occasionally mixing too much alcohol with water sports," said Tommy Lovegrove, Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue president.

Officials remind people to always wear a life jacket and take extra precaution on the water.