Former airline employee volunteering time to keep boaters safe on Lake Lanier

by: David Chandley Updated:

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga.,None - As Lake Lanier continues to drop, the receding water level reveals many hazards to those who use the lake.

Channel 2 meteorologists David Chandley found one man who is taking a positive spin on the low lake level and his work is helping many.

Because Lake Lanier is man-made, underneath the water you will find old trees, rolling hills and rocks. When the level drops they become exposed those things become exposed.

Rick Marton took Chandley on a tour of Lake Lanier, showing him the many hazards he's uncovered.

Marton is a retiree from United Airlines and has spent 14 years on the lake, many of those piloting a tug boat, but recently he's on a crusade marking hazards, or as Rick calls them, aids in navigation, on Georgia's largest lake.

Marton places buoys in the areas where there is a potential hazard.

With the lake down 11 feet, there are plenty of trouble spots and surprisingly many are in the middle of lake, not near the shore.

"You should stay 100 feet away from any of the buoys, so I have a 100-foot circle," Marton said.

The buoys are bought by the Army Corps of Engineers and Marton volunteers his time to put them out.

"You are doing a service that is going to help people?" Chandley said.

"I hope so, I am just totally for boating safety, that's why I am in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and that's what I do, looking for problems of any type on the lake," Marton said.

Marton said not only does he put in the buoys, but he has been able to clean up the lake too.

"We have found a lot trash. The last time it was so low, we picked up sunken boats and couple of car frames," Marton said.

Marton hopes to put out a dozen more or so buoys, but he said more may be needed if the lake continues to drop.