Ga. DNR urges caution to boaters for Labor Day Weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ga. DNR urges caution to boaters for holiday weekend

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SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (WTOC) - The Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division is urging safety to boaters and passengers over the Labor Day Weekend.

Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver warned that conservation rangers will be out during the holiday to strictly enforce all boating laws. They also warn boaters to be alert for others out on the water.

So far this year there have been 68 boating incidents, eight boating incident-related fatalities and 22 drownings on Georgia waters, according to the DRN. Conservation rangers have issued 140 boating under the influence citations.

As of July 2014, the New Education law takes effect, which requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1998 to complete a boat education course in order to operate any vessel. Take a boating safety course. visit www.goboatgeorgia.com/boating/education for course listings. 

The DNR issued these safety tips:

Designate an operator. Do not drink and operate a boat. The blood-alcohol level required to drive a boat changed in 2013 to .08.

Wear a life jacket. Children under 13 years of age are required by law to wear a life jacket while onboard a moving watercraft.

Don't overload your boat with people or equipment. Know the maximum weight and number of people allowed on board the vessel.

Use navigation lights at all times when on the water at night. Check lights before it gets dark.

Watch your speed. The 100-foot law applies to all 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.

Get more information about the changes to boating laws.  www.goboatgeorgia.com/new-boating-regulations-2013.

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