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DNR encourages boating safety this Memorial Day weekend

Video from WALB
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 7:49 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - This Memorial Day weekend, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be out in full force ensuring boaters are following the law.

Game Warden Drew Beverly with DNR joined WALB’s Jim Wallace Friday.

“Drew, the weather is supposed to be beautiful, and Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, especially for boating season. You want people to think about what if they are headed toward the water?” Wallace asked.

“Most important thing we are going to focus on this weekend is boating safety. Whether that’s wearing life jackets, or the proper safety equipment on board your vessel. Also making sure there is a sober operator,” Beverly said.

“That is the number one thing because it is probably going to be crowded with people. Do you think so?”

“Yes sir, it’s going to be a busy weekend on the water. No doubt about it. We are expecting a lot of traffic on the water. And we just hope everyone will be safe, so that way they can enjoy the weekend and not wind up dealing with a tragic event,” Beverly replied.

“Are there any new regulations or laws for boating to think about this year?” asked Wallace.

One of the big laws that people may be unaware of is the 100-foot law. Basically, the 100-foot law mandates idle speeds within 100 feet of a person, boat, dock, swimming area, or any other object in the water, including the shoreline. Riders of personal watercraft or jet skis oftentimes break the 100-foot law, which is a very dangerous action. We see a lot of boat collisions. Jet skis hit docks and other boats at high rates of speed. Boats strike stumps or other debris that is often found in shallow water. Incidents like these often end in injury or even death. Breaking the 100-foot law certainly endangers the violator, but also jeopardizes the safety of other boaters and swimmers as well,” Beverly said.

“Obviously, boating under the influence is always something you are having to deal with. And I know that is something you want to tell people. If it’s going to be crowded on the water, it’s not time to be driving while operating,” Wallace said.

“Correct, correct. The big thing there is just designating a sober operator on the vessel. Not only for your own safety but for the safety of others as well. That’s one thing our game wardens across the state are going to be focused on, this Memorial Day weekend. DUI will not be tolerated.”

“So we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend on the water, but you and all the other game wardens will be on the water watching.”

“Yes sir, yes sir. We are going to be out focused on boating safety and making sure everybody’s got sober operators. And make sure that everybody has an enjoyable weekend and goes home safe,” said Beverly.

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