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Gwinnett Diver Tragedy and Water Safety

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Florida Diving Tragedy Takes Lawrenceville Man

In our last post, we shared important information about water safety and small children. The fun and excitement of water play can last a lifetime. But the safety concerns associated with water don’t end with little ones. Older kids, teens and adults must also be mindful of the safety measures needed around water. Only last week, we learned that a Gwinnett County man apparently drowned in Florida while on a diving trip there. The Florida authorities are performing an autopsy to determine what caused his passing. He found with his regulator out of his mouth. This event reminds us that water can be dangerous for people of all ages, not just little ones.

Georgia Resources for Boating Safety & Education

We hope that boating education and safety are top of mind for those who are going out this spring and summer on our waterways. Every year we learn of drownings and accidents that could have been avoided. The good news is there are many measures that can be taken to help ensure safety and security on Georgia’s lakes and rivers. The Handbook of Georgia Boating Laws and Responsibilities contains the information needed to determine how to comply with the many rules concerning boating and boating safety. Georgia maintains a certification program that includes reasonably-priced and easily-accessed education needed to operate many types of boats in our state. In short, there are many avenues available for education necessary to operate certain boats in Georgia. Consult the Handbook to find out if your vessel is one of those that requires certification  to operate. There is nothing more important than knowing how to handle your vessel in all sorts of situations and what is required when you encounter other boats. Waterways have rights of way similar to land roads. Knowing the rules can avoid accidents, collisions and potential injuries. It is also critically important to know what to do in case of an emergency, whether that is a medical emergency, a collision with another boat or a person overboard.

In addition to boats, Georgia also provides regulations regarding the use of Personal Water Craft (PWC) which must be considered before families head out for water fun. For example, children under the age of 12 may not operate a PWC. A child between ages 12 to 15 can only operate a PWC if they have passed an approved boating safety course or they are accompanied by an adult. A person over the age of 16 can legally operate a PWC, with some restrictions and education requirements.

Life Jackets “Wear It!” Campaign

Across the country the “Wear It!” campaign has urged the use of life jackets in the recreational boating community. The family-oriented campaign urges water safety education and the use of life jackets, which now have many options. Boating enthusiasts and operators carrying friends and family have a great responsibility. Life vests and personal flotation devices are important for both children and adults. In fact, since 2013, Georgia law requires children under the age of 13 to wear a personal flotation device unless they are fully enclosed in the boat’s cabin. It is good practice for all to wear a life vest or personal flotation device while boating.

Scholle Law is proud to bring our community information about boating safety. We hope all Georgians have a great time out on our waterways. Boating education can help avoid injuries and potential tragedies. Boating accidents can be very serious, so let’s get out and have fun and keep our friends and loved ones safe and sound. If you have questions or need guidance after an accident or injury we are here to help. Please feel free to contact our law offices to talk with a member of our experienced legal team.

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