The Savannah Police and Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be teaming up to provide a free boater safety course on July 19.

The course will be required for anyone under the age of 12 who wishes operate a motor-powered vessel in state waters. On July 1, a new state law mandated that anyone born after Jan. 1998 complete a boater education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources before they can pilot a powerboat in the state.

The course will be held at the Savannah-Chatham County police training facility at the Savannah mall; an additional course will be held on Aug. 16.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, despite a busy holiday weekend, there were no boating under the influence arrests, drownings or other boating incidents. The department still would like to advise boaters and swimmers to embrace the three C’s – compliance, caution and common sense.

In Georgia, the number of boating accidents have been on the decline since 2009 and officials are hopeful that the trend will continue. So far, about 40 boating incidents have resulted in 28 injures and three fatalities in 2014.

The Eichholz Law Firm would like to recommend some basic safety rules for boat and watercraft operators:

  • Take a boating safety course – even if you’ve been manning watercrafts for years, it’s always good to take a refresher course
  • Wear a life jacket – children under 13 are required to wear a life jacket while on board
  • Don’t overload your boat – check the capacity plate for the maximum weight or number of people your boat can carry
  • Always use navigation lights at night or during low light conditions
  • Always watch your speed
  • Designate a sober operator – the blood alcohol content limit is .08, just as it is for driving a car

If you or someone you love is injured in a boating accident, contact the maritime injury lawyers at The Eichholz Law Firm. Our attorneys can help you determine what your legal rights are.

Fill out the contact form on this page or call us at (866) 947-7449 to schedule a free legal consultation.ac