The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters that beginning on July 1, completion of a boater education course will become mandatory for all vessel operators born on or after January 1, 1998.
DNR officials said the new requirement states that any persons born on or after January 1, 1998 that operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must have completed a boat education course approved by the Department prior to such operation.
The DNR said a person is exempt if he or she is a person licensed by the Coast Guard as a master of a vessel, operating on a private pond or lake, or is a non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA-approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.
Georgia DNR Assistant Director of Law Enforcement Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Weaver said the rule is being implemented in an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable.
Weaver adds that making an effort to learn boating laws, rules, and regulations could potentially save a life.
There are three ways to take a boater education course, according to the DNR.
Those are in a classroom, online, or through a home study program.