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Safe boaters can earn free day-use pass for a year

Boating safety classes

‘About Boating Safely’

Dates: March 16, April 13, May 11, June 15, July 13, Aug. 17, Sept. 21

Where: Coast Guard Auxiliary Operations Center, 6595 Lights Ferry Road, Flowery Branch


Home study courses

Boat-Ed: Visit or call 800-460-9698 to order book, test and VHS tape, $24.95, plus $5 shipping.

U.S. Power Squadron-America’s Boating Course: $34.95 plus shipping for 224-page manual and CD for home study and pin number to take course online.

Online courses

Boat US Foundation:, 800-336-2628; free

Boat-Ed:, 800-830-2268; $29.50

PWC Safety School:; $15

Boater Exam:; $29.95

Note: Pay courses are "no pass, no pay."

Boaters now can earn a reward for making the effort toward better safety on the state’s waterways.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Lake Lanier Project Office are conducting a pilot program to promote water and boating safety by recognizing Georgia residents ages 18 and older that earn a certificate from an authorized Safe Boating Class to receive a complimentary annual day-use pass, valid for one year.

The approved list of boating courses is available on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website,

Complimentary annual day-use passes will be issued between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Lake Lanier Project Management Office. Passes will not be issued on weekends or holidays.

The program applies to Allatoona Lake as well.

Annual passes, which normally cost $30, allow the user access to boat ramps and swim beaches.

The corps operates ramps at East Bank, Lower Pool West, Lanier, Burton Mill, Van Pugh North, Balus Creek, Little Hall,

Vann’s Tavern, Six Mile and Tidwell parks. Ramp fees are $3-$4 at each.

Beaches can be found at West Bank, Buford, Van Pugh North, Lanier, Little Hall and Bolding Mill parks. Day-use fees apply at each.

The original Safe Boating Certificate, dated and completed within the past year, along with a Georgia photo identification must be presented in person when obtaining a complimentary day-use pass. It may not be sold or transferred.

For more information regarding complimentary passes at Lake Lanier, contact Christie Pinson at 770-945-9531; at Allatoona Lake, Chris Purvis at 678-721-6700.