SOCIAL CIRCLE — Life-jacket safety, the 100-foot law, minimum age limits for boat operators and boating under the influence are just a few examples of what a person should know before operating a vessel on public waters, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ law-enforcement division.
Beginning July 1, completion of a boater-education course will become mandatory for all vessel operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1998.
“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 DNR Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of law enforcement. “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 requirement states that any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, who operates any motorized vessel on state water must have completed a boat-education course approved by the department prior to such operation.
A person is exempt if he or she is:
• licensed by the Coast Guard as a master of a vessel;
• operating on a private pond or lake;
• a non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA- approved boater-education course or equivalency examination from another state.
A course can be taken online or in a classroom or home-study program.
For more information, go to www.gadnrle.org/node/33.
For information on the requirement, including a new video, go to www.gadnrle.org/node/42.