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Sunday May 24th, 2015 1:18AM

Safety emphasized as boating season begins

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, and with it the beginning of the summer boating season, one local organization is hoping to spread its message of boating safety to those planning on spending any length of time on Lake Lanier.

The Lake Lanier Association has recently distributed 10,000 boat decals that contain a number of safety rules that prospective boaters should follow.

Joanna Cloud, Executive Director of the Association, says the decals offer a handy resource for anyone who opts to go out on Lake Lanier.

"They're on the 'rules of the road' that we're asking people to be aware of when they go out there," she said. "We're actually asking people to adhere these decals to their boat dashboard."

One of the most important rules the Association says people should follow is also one of the most commonly ignored: the so-called "100-foot rule."

"You're supposed to maintain 100 feet of distance from the shoreline, stationary objects, persons in the water, or other vessels, and if you don't have 100 feet you're supposed to maintain idle speed or less," Cloud explained.

The Association recommends a boating safety course for anyone who elects to venture out on the waters.

Cloud added that for some boaters a safety course will soon become mandatory: "There's gonna be laws for kids born 1998 and forward as of July 1st, but it's really a good idea for everybody to take a boating safety course."

The law Cloud referenced states that all boat operators born on or after January 1, 1998, will be required to have completed a DNR-certified boater safety course before being allowed to operate a motorized vessel on any Georgia waters.
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