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Boating safety course to be required for young boaters beginning July 1
by Chuck Thompson
Jun 12, 2014 | 6767 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State hopes new law will help cut down on boating accidents on Georgia’s lakes and rivers.
State hopes new law will help cut down on boating accidents on Georgia’s lakes and rivers.
In order to promote safety on Georgia’s public waters, the state has enacted a new law that, beginning July 1, requires all those born in 1998 or later to complete a Georgia Department of Natural Resources-approved boater education course before they can legally operate a motorized vessel.

The course covers topics including life jacket safety, the 100-foot law, minimum age limits for boat operators, and boating under the influence laws.

“In an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable, boaters will be required to complete a boating education course,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of law enforcement for the DNR. “After all, tragedy can happen quickly, and making an effort to learn boating laws, rules and regulations can potentially save a life – including your own.”

This new boater education requirement states that any persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, that operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must have completed a boat education course approved by the DNR prior to such operation. A person is exempt if he or she is licensed by the Coast Guard as a master of a vessel, is operating a boat on a private pond or lake, or is a resident of another state who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA-approved boater education course or equivalency exam from another state.

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