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Your Views: State should require boaters to pass course

POSTED: June 27, 2012 1:00 a.m.

How many boating accidents, how many boating injuries, how many boating fatalities will it take before we have had enough?

A 40-year-old man can buy a 40-foot-boat with 1,000 horsepower, load his family into the boat, push the throttles up to 100 mph, all with no boating experience and no boating education. He is required to have no, none, nada boating experience at all. He could never have set one toe in a boat in his whole 40 years, ever. Yet he is legal in Georgia to jump behind his 100 mph speedboat with his family and friends hanging on. Let the good times roll, right?

What does “no wake” mean? What do those cute little white signs with orange X’s on them mean? Right of way? What? Life jackets? Fire extinguishers? Red, green, white lights? Nav/Anchor? Huh? Tubers? Skiers? 100-foot rule? Sun up/sundown? How the heck do I park this thing? Booze? Me? Them? Huh? I don’t know ... I don’t have to know anything.

Add sunshine, cool water, good music, family, friends, laughter and here we go. Ignorance is bliss right?

My 12-year-old son passed his www.boat-ed.com boater’s education course. I took the course with him. I have been boating for 50 plus years on Lanier, yet I learned a few things. How simple.

The course is already there, online, ready for anyone who wants to take it. But only 12- to 16-year-olds are required to take it now. Why is that? Wouldn’t you think it would be simple for everyone to take the same course?

I don’t even want to touch on the subject of rental boats, yet.

It is time for the Georgia legislators to enact required boating licenses for all Georgia boaters. The course is already set up and available for all. It would only require the stroke of a pen.

Haven’t we had enough?

Jud Davis
Gainesville



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