New Designated Boater Service May Prevent Intoxicated Boating Accidents on Lake Lanier
Summer has finally arrived which means many people will be heading out to Lake Lanier and other waterways in Georgia to engage in boating, fishing, skiing, wakeboarding and other water sports. Although boating offers an enjoyable way to cool off and engage in recreational activity, anyone who has spent a Saturday during June through August on the lake knows that the high number of boats mixed with alcohol can result in terrible boating accidents that include propeller mutilation injuries, collisions between watercrafts and drowning incidents.
There is, fortunately, a new service on Lake Lanier that could help make a busy day on the water safer. The new service is called SAFENAV. The company essentially offers designated driving services for those who have had too much to drink while boating. If a boat operator has been consuming alcohol, the boat operator can contact the service. Someone will come out to the boater's vessel, and SAFENAV's captain will pilot them and their vessel back to their home marina. While there is a fee associated with the service, the owner of the company points out that the charge is rather nominal when compared to a Boating under the Influence (BUI) charge, serious damage from a boat crash or personal injury liability from a boating accident.
Although boating is a popular summer recreational activity, navigation of Georgia waterways can have a dark side. According to national statistics, there are more than 700 people that die and more than 3,300 more injured each year in boating-related accidents. Many boats travel as fast as a car, truck or SUV but offer less precise handling and lack brakes. These limitations on the maneuverability of a boat can be a deadly combination when mixed with an alcohol-impaired operator. However, alcohol and boating often go hand in hand.
While fatal boating accidents are entirely avoidable if boaters maintain proper lookout, travel at a safe speed, avoid drugs or alcohol and otherwise follow safe boating practices, alcohol often increases the odds that boaters will engage in dangerous boating practices. Alcohol plays a factor in nearly one in five boating accidents. Although this new “designated boating” service provides a valuable way to avoid boating collisions in Georgia, boating enthusiasts should abstain from alcohol use or bring a designated driver. Sadly, some people view intoxicated boating as more acceptable than drunken driving of a motor vehicle, despite the increased risk.
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