Boat wreck sinks a boat

Boat wreck sinks a boat
(Dougherty Sheriff photo)
(Dougherty Sheriff photo)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Sunday night an Albany man was arrested for boating under the influence with a dozen people on board.

Saturday two boats had a high speed collision on Lake Chehaw.   Rangers want every boat owner and operator to pick up a copy of, "Georgia Boating Laws and Responsibilities".  Or check it out on line, because they are concerned as lots of boaters will be heading out on the water across Georgia again.

A very nice boat sank on Lake Chehaw, after colliding with another boat Saturday.  One person was ejected into the water in the crash, but no one was seriously injured. Rangers say both boat operators had owned their boats less than two weeks, and were inexperienced on the state's boating laws.

"If somebody does not have enough experience out here on a boat, maybe somebody more seasoned needs to take control of that vessel," said DNR Ranger Ranger Eric White.

Minh Nguyen was arrested on Lake Chehaw yesterday and charged with endangering a child while operating a vessel under the influence, and several other charges. Of course drinking and driving a boat is the Rangers' biggest concern.

But Rangers also say Nguyen did not have life jackets or personal floatation devices for the dozen people on board. His bond was set at more than $1,300.
"They are required to have an appropriate size life jacket or PFD on board, readily accessible to them," White said.

All children, 12 or younger, must have a life jacket on when the boat is in motion. These are just some of the boating laws that rangers are asking boaters to review, because there have been a lot of boats on Lake Chehaw in the last two weeks.  And rangers expect that number to grow in coming weeks, so they are urging boaters to remember lives are at stake.

"We have a lot of kayakers. A lot of tubers. A lot of wake boarders out here on the water.  Everybody needs to keep in mind of swimmers in the water," White said.
Rangers say with gas prices down and the economy improving more South Georgians seem to be heading out on the water for recreation.  So the rangers will be out in full force on Georgia waterways, enforcing safety laws.

Rangers urge all boaters to review these laws and responsibilities, reminding the operator is responsible for the safety of everyone on a boat.  You can call the Region DNR office near you for a copy.

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