By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
With the warm weather suddenly upon us and lake levels rising, boaters are flocking to Richard B. Russell Lake as well as Hartwell Lake to enjoy the spring weather – some for the first time.
And first time boaters will want to take advantage of a free boating class coming up this Saturday at the Hartwell Lake office in Hartwell.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officer Craig Fulgum says the class is open to all boaters, experienced and novice ages 12 and up.
According to Fulgum the free boating class has many advantages.
“One law is requiring mandatory boating education for children so if you want to be a proactive parent, now is a good time to avoid the long lines later and get your child signed up for a boating safety class,” Fulgum said.
This Saturday’s class will run from 9:00am to 2:00pm and is open to anyone in the Northeast Georgia area.
Fulgum said knowing how to stay safe on the water is particularly important now that State lawmakers have passed several new boating laws.
One of the new laws in Georgia for boaters is a lower BUI level.
Senate Bill 136 is awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature and lowers the limit for being legally intoxicated on any lake in Georgia to .08 grams per 100 grams of blood from the current .10 grams.
The move came in the wake of several boating deaths on Lake Lanier last summer that were alcohol related.
If you miss this Saturday’s class, Fulgum said he plans to hold two more boating safety classes this spring.