SCMPD reminds boaters of new laws - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD reminds boaters of new laws

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Before you hit the water this summer, are you aware of all of the latest boating laws?

Marine Patrol was out all day Wednesday, reminding boaters not only on the new law that takes effect in July, but also about some recent changes in existing boating laws.

Starting on July 1, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1998 will have to take a DNR approved boating education class in order to operate any powerboat, including jet skis.

"It is a safety issue," said SCMPD Star Cpl. Danny Walker. "It's always a safety issue, and that's the most important thing out here is to make sure everyone is being safe and boating safely."

And there is more.

Two new laws have already taken effect. Children under 13 must wear a life jacket and a blood alcohol content of .08 is now considered to be boating under the influence, a drop from .10.

All of these changes were designed to keep everyone safe on the water this summer.

"We se a lot of kids out here," Walker said. "Their parents have jet skis and boats and they're on the sandbar, and they think it's ok for them to spin around. You see a lot of mistakes and a lot of potential hazards. Anything to familiarize young kids, adults, and of us, is a great idea."

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept. offers the free boater education course, and the next class is offered on Saturday, June 21.  

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