Young boaters in Georgia will have to hit the books before they hit the lakes later this summer.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said anybody born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 must complete a state-approved boater education course before they can operate a water vessel.
The new requirement goes into effect July 1.
“In an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable, boaters will be required to complete a boating education course,” DNR Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of Law Enforcement, said in a press release. “After all, tragedy can happen quickly and making an effort to learn boating laws, rules and regulations can potentially save a life – including your own.”
Exemptions to the requirement are people who are licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel, operating a boat on a private lake or pond, or have completed an approved boater education in another state.