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 www.boat-ed.com: 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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140422-Dan_Keplinger003.jpg The Art of Determination

    Artist Dan Keplinger invests passion into his frenetic pieces. His line work teems with energy. An unexpected trait in the often technically precise medium of printmaking.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140422-RibbonCutting.jpg Learning center named in Horne’s honor

    Noting his lengthy legacy in educating the region's young people, Valdosta City Schools officially renamed the Pinevale Learning Center Tuesday in honor of the late Maceo A. Horne Jr.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rose: Dismiss ‘Quitman 11’ case

    Following the second mistrial in the case of a Brooks County woman accused of voter fraud, a local civil rights leader has called for the issue to be dismissed, but prosecutors plan to seek prosecution for a third time.

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawsuit challenging Ga. gay marriage ban filed

    A gay rights group filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

    April 23, 2014

  • Commission denies City’s annexation request

    Lowndes County received an annexation request from the City of Hahira for five parcels of land that spanned approximately 66 acres, for the purpose of future development, and because the applicant sought city water and sewer.

    April 23, 2014

  • Confederate Memorial Day observed this weekend

    The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Valdosta Chapter 471, will observe Confederate Memorial Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

    April 23, 2014

  • connell book review.jpg Literary Guild hears Fannie Flagg’s latest

    “Reading for fun is great, but learning while reading is super,” Sandra Connell told the Literary Guild at the April meeting.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Performance index tops Lowndes school board meeting

    Lowndes County Board of Education celebrated the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores during its regular session Monday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • N1401P14008C.TIF Sheriff hosts Prescription Take-Back Day

    The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused medications this Saturday as a part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results