OUR OPINION: Recent tragedy shows what dangers lurk on our waters

The accident on Lake Martin this week­ end that has claimed at least one life so far should be a reminder to anyone who uses our lakes and rivers to always have one eye out for danger.

Boating, like driving a car, is not a passive act. It is an active experience that demands every bit of our concentration while we are doing it. The failure to do so can result in ter­rible consequences.

It is too early yet to know what will come out of law enforcement's investigation into this weekend's fatal accident. Noteworthy is the report that charges have been levied for boating under the influence. If that turns out to be true, it adds yet more reinforcement to the notion that drinking and boating do not mix.

But even if the driver of the boat was not under the influence, there are questions to be answered about the accident itself. And it points to the criticism many level at the state from time to time concerning proper instruc­tion on the act of operating a boat.

Although boats -- and even personal wa­tercraft -- are not automobiles, they must be handled with care and treated as potential weapons when in use. Special care should be used when swimmers are in the area.

We encourage anyone who uses our wa­terways to use as much caution as possible, and our sympathies are with the victims in this weekend's terrible tragedy.