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DNR captain wins national award
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Capt. Mike England was presented the National Safe Boating Council’s 2014 Boating Safety Award at the 55th annual National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Conference in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The Flowery Branch native graduated from Johnson High School in 1984 and later Piedmont Collage in Demorest. He lives in Oconee County with his wife, Amber, and children Jordan, Emma and Wyatt.

“We are very proud of Capt. England’s commitment to safe boating in Georgia,” said DNR Col. Eddie Henderson, director of Law Enforcement. “His hard work and successes in improved boating legislation will benefit Georgia boaters for many years to come.”

According to the council’s website, the Boating Safety Award is bestowed upon a state or local government individual who is involved in boating safety and who has demonstrated outstanding performance in any area of the program, including but not limited to enforcement, education, search and rescue, navigational aids, or registration or titling. 

England, a 24-year veteran with the DNR Law Enforcement, played a key role in the department’s efforts to pass historic boating legislation during the 2013 legislative session, conducting research, writing drafts of the law and providing institutional knowledge throughout the process. As a result, Georgia now has a .08 blood alcohol concentration limit for boating under the influence and mandatory boater education. 

In 2003, England started the Hull Identification Number inspection process. Since then, Rangers have assigned more than 16,500 state HINs to vessels, making Georgia one of the top three states in the nation for HIN accuracy. He also manages the boating under the influence suspension process for Georgia and works with numerous boating safety campaigns in the state and nationally including Wear It, promoting life jacket wear, and NASBLA’s Operation Dry Water, a nationwide BUI enforcement effort.

Capt. England, who resides in Oconee County, has served on numerous NASBLA Committees during his career and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 237.

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