Georgia legislation promotes boater safety and access for towed watersports

Published On: May 31, 2023Categories: Industry News, News

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed towed watersports legislation that included strengthening safety and access opportunities for wakesurfing and wakeboarding. The new law followed bordering states, South Carolina and Tennessee, in proactively keeping boaters and towed water sports enthusiasts safe on the water.

Introduced by Representative Victor Anderson and sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore John Kennedy, the bill enhances safety requirements for those wakesurfing and wakeboarding by:

  • Requiring operators to stay at least 200 feet away from any moored vessel; any wharf, dock, pier, piling, or bridge structure or abutment; or any shoreline adjacent to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or other public use areas.
  • Riders engaging in towed watersports must wear a personal flotation device.
  • Prohibits wakesurfing and wakeboarding between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

The bill also exempts intracoastal waterways, rivers or private lakes as well as any regatta, boat race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition for which the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has granted a marine event permit.