In Bartow County on Lake Allatoona on July 5, 2014 after the Fireworks show at the Allatoona Yacht Club at approximately 11:30 p.m. the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ (GADNR) Law Enforcement Division responded to a boat crash. Five (5) people were injured and one was a four month old infant . Two boats were involved in the crash; 1.) A Maxum Cabin Cruiser; and 2.) A Chaparral Ski Boat.
Witnesses at the scene indicated that the ski boat hit the cabin cruiser from behind, and then went up and over the boat. The person operating the cabin cruiser was the most injured. There were only minor injuries to the other four people, including the infant. It was determined that the driver of the ski boat was impaired and was, therefore, arrested and charged with Boating Under the Influence.
To deter further incidents such as the case in point, and as stated above, Boating Under the Influence is now also being treated more like Driving Under the Influence with the same or similar penalties. Just as driving a car or other motor vehicle under the influence, driving a boat under the influence cause serious injuries or death.
As I have discussed in my other blog posts on boat injuries, boating can be very dangerous and can cause serious injury and even death. After the famous singer Usher’s son was killed in a boating incident, Georgia put into effect a new Mandatory Boating Education Law beginning July 1, 2014 requiring all individuals born on or after January 1, 1998 that operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state of Georgia must have first successfully completed a boat education course approved by the GADNR prior to such boating operation.