Overloading and Unsafe Conditions
Georgia law designates the following dangerous operating practices as illegal.
Overloading is loading the boat beyond the recommended capacity shown on the capacity plate installed by the boat manufacturer.
Riding on the bow or gunwale is illegal if the boat is not equipped with a railing or some other retaining device. As a boat operator, you are prohibited from allowing your passengers to ride on the bow or gunwale.
Video: Georgia Reckless and Negligent Operation
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I like to have fun when I’m out on the water. Oftentimes I see people doing things that look pretty dangerous. They’re either overloading the boat, or they’re riding on the bow, or they’re bringing skiers in too close. Would you consider that reckless behavior?
- Sergeant Mike Burgamy
Yeah, it could be considered reckless. If you’re dropping skiers too close to the dock, if you’re splashing your buddy on a personal watercraft, that’s reckless. If you’re overloading the boat past the capacity plate’s recommendation, that can be dangerous. Also, if you’re letting someone ride the bow or gunwale of a boat without a retaining device—number one, it’s a violation. Two, it could be dangerous if they go overboard.
And these laws are just intended to keep people safe.
- Sergeant Burgamy
Absolutely. That’s the word that comes to mind: safety.