Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 6, 2013

Summer Safety: Boating, staying afloat, staying alive

-- — There are few activities more fun than boating during the summer. Whether it is taking a boat out on the lake, river or ocean, being on the water in a boat is a great way to enjoy the summer sun and be near the water.

However, with boating, there is the potential for many dangers. These are some safety tips to remember when riding on a boat.

Wear a life jacket: Wearing a life vest is always a good idea when out on a boat. If there is an accident and the boat flips over or a rider is thrown from the boat during a turn, a life jacket can be a true lifesaver. It does not matter if everyone on the boat knows how to swim. Two thirds of drowning victims are good swimmers.

File a float plan: A float plan is a form that boaters can fill out to let others know where they will be boating. This can be a lifesaver if a boat wrecks or runs out of gas and no one on board has access to a cell phone.

Take a boating safety course: A boating safety course is a simple way to learn all of the rules of boating including state regulations and proper driving procedures. While a boating education course is not mandatory for adults, it is required for children ages 12-15; in the state of Georgia, it is encouraged.

Know state laws: Each state has different laws regarding personal watercraft, life vests and skiing. In the state of Georgia, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s boating safety resource center, use of personal watercrafts are prohibited at night. It is also mandatory to have either wide rear-viewing mirrors on a boat or an observer when pulling someone on skis behind the boat. All children under 10 are required to wear a life jacket in an open vessel.

Know your limits: Many boaters feel comfortable drinking alcohol while operating a boat. In the state of Georgia, boating under the influence is monitored on a regular basis and prohibited. A person is considered to be intoxicated at 0.08 percent and field tests can be used to determine a person’s alcohol level. It is best to avoid alcohol while boating. If a person does consume alcohol, it is best to wear a life vest.

Know markers: There are two main types of markers, according to lateral and non-lateral markers. Lateral markers are either red or green and mark the edges of water ways. One saying to remember is “Red Right Return.” This means that when returning from open sea or heading upstream, keep the red markers on your right. Non-lateral markers indicate directions, hazards or controlled areas. These markers are often white and orange and may read “Rock,” “Slow No Wake,” or may aid boaters with which direction food or fuel is located. Mooring buoys are another important marker to keep an eye out for.

These tips can be the difference between life and death for boaters. To avoid getting caught in storms, it is important to keep an eye on the weather when planning a boat trip. Boaters should make sure to bring a map or GPS if going into an unfamiliar area.

Text Only
Local News
  • Brown Johnson Solis Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpeg Cardiac, Vascular, Thoracic & Endovascular Surgeons Join South Georgia Medical Center

    The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute.  The medical office, which is located in Suite 230 of the Professional Building which is adjacent to SGMC, will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lake Park holds millage rate hearings

    Lake Park City Council held two public hearings Tuesday to discuss raising Lake Park's millage rate from 5.052 to 6.552, an increase of 1.5.

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_celebritywaiter004.jpg Celebrity waiters raise $14,000 for CAC

    For local leaders, wearing aprons, counting tips and taking drink orders is quite the change from their day jobs. When it's for a good cause though, these “celebrities” didn't mind stepping out of their comfort zones to help.

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results