SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Typically this time of year, the Chatham County Police Department’s Marine Patrol steps up its hours for a busy summer. Due to increased boating traffic, the department already started its additional summer patrols back in March.
More people out on the water means more calls for the Chatham County Marine Patrol, so they want to remind boaters of the rules to keep everyone safe.
The biggest thing to remember is to plan ahead and check all of your equipment before heading out. Don’t overload your boat, but make sure you take the proper supplies like life jackets that fit everyone on board, one throwable device, and a fire extinguisher.
The marine patrol says it stops boaters most frequently for not following the basic rules of the water, including not slowing down for no wake zones and not wearing life jackets properly.
“We will terminate your voyage if we stop you and you don’t have your fire extinguisher and you don’t have your life jackets because that is a safety issue and we don’t want to take responsibility for letting you continue on your voyage and you not have those safety items and need them,” said Sgt. Daniel Walker, CCPD Marine Patrol.
The Chatham County Marine Patrol offers free boating safety classes to prepare you for your boating trip, and if you were born after January 1, 1998, these classes are required before you can operate a boat.
Classes will be offered on the following dates at the Savannah Moose Lodge (2202 Norwood Ave, Savannah GA, 31406): May 15, June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, and Sept. 18 (All are on a Saturday).
The class size is limited and registration is required. You can register online by visiting Georgia DNR’s website, or by giving them a call at 912.264.7237.