Today, after a year of being covered in tarps, dusty garages or secured tightly to wooden docks, many boats across the region will re-emerge on the Central Savannah River Area's waters.
Chrissy Westerberg, with the United State Army Corps of Engineers says, “This memorial weekend the lake is at it's highest with people since 2005.”
But before heading out on a boat, the law enforcement officials who patrol the area's waterways suggest, boaters should make a thorough check of the vessel and review current boating requirements – both for safety and to avoid violating state law.
Tyler Mcenery intern for Army Corp of Engineers' Water Safety Division says, “We do courtesy safety checks, because a lot of boaters are not aware of the requirements.”
A good starting place is to make sure the boat and the operator are legal and registered. In fact, there's a new law in affect for Georgia. Anyone born after 1999 has to take a coast guard approved safety course.
Some water vessel require different things before they can legally hit the water. For instance when driving a jet ski, you must wear a life jacket, and the emergency turn off device must be working.
Other boats that have a motor require a fire extinguisher, flares that can reach as far as 16 feet, and a few others items before they are considered safe.
Whether you're operating a kayak , canoe, or speed boat, rangers say there's one item that is necessary.
Courtney Elledge reporting, “The most important thing you have to have before you hit the water is a life jacket on board. If you're under the age of 13 in Georgia you are required to wear one.”
Rangers will check this summer to make sure your boat meets the state's requirements.
The new legal blood alcohol limit for boaters in the Peach State is .08 that's the same limit as if you were driving a car.
Kids 13 and younger will have to wear life jackets. Children also need to have an adult on board if they are operating a jet ski.
Click here for more information http://www.georgiawildlife.org/boating/regulations.