SOCIAL CIRCLE —The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife resources division is stressing the importance of safety for all boat drivers and passengers as the Labor Day holiday approaches.
“Holiday weekends create a need for increased safety awareness from all boaters,” Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver said. “As always, conservation rangers will strictly enforce all boating laws in an effort to keep everyone safe, but we also encourage people to pay extra attention to others on the water.”
So far this year, there have been 96 boating incidents, nine boating incident-related fatalities and 33 drownings on Georgia waters. Conservation rangers also have issued 167 citations for boating under the influence.
The state DNR advises using the following safety tips:
• Designate an operator. Do not drink and operate a boat.
• Take a boating safety course. Go to www.goboatgeorgia.com for course listings.
• Wear a life jacket. Children under 10 years of age are required by law to wear a life jacket while onboard a moving vessel, but it’s recommended for everyone to wear a life jacket.
• Don’t overload the boat with people or equipment. Check on the capacity plate for the maximum weight or the maximum number of people the boat can carry safely.
• Monitor boat speed. The 100-foot law applies to all size vessels and prohibits operation at speeds greater than idle speed within 100 feet of any vessel unless overtaking or meeting another vessel in compliance with the rules of the road.
For more information, go to www.goboatgeorgia.com/boating/safety.