Subject 391-4-5 BOATING REGULATIONS
The purpose of these Rules is to implement the public safety and natural resource protection responsibilities assigned to the Department with respect to the various types of boating activities which occur on the waters of the State.
For the purpose of these rules, the term:
|(a)||"Applicant" means any person who files an application with the Department for permission to hold a marine event;|
|(b)||"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Natural Resources of the State of Georgia;|
|(c)||"Department" means the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Georgia;|
|(d)||"Marine events" means any organized and/or advertised regatta, boat race, marine parade, water event, tournament or exhibition, excluding fishing tournaments, which by its nature, circumstance or location will introduce extra or unusual hazards to the public safety or the life of any person on the waters of this State or to the natural resources of this State;|
|(e)||"Person" means any municipal corporation, county or legal consolidation thereof, individual, partnership, corporation, public or private authority and shall include the State of Georgia and all its departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities, and any other agencies or instrumentalities;|
|(f)||"Sponsor" means the person to whom the Department issues a permit to hold a marine event.|
|(1)||Any person seeking to conduct a marine event shall submit an application to the Department at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the proposed marine event; provided, however, a person seeking to conduct a marine event which is likely to attract 10,000 or more participants and spectators shall submit an application to the Department at least ninety (90) days prior to such proposed event.|
|(2)||Permit applications shall be on forms furnished by the Department and may be submitted for single or multiple events.|
|(3)|| The issuance of a
permit for a marine event to be held on the waters of this state shall be
conditioned upon the receipt of either an indemnity bond or forfeiture bond as
outlined in subparagraphs (a) and (b) below:
|(4)||Prior to the issuance of a permit for a marine event proposed to be held in an area where two or more governmental entities have jurisdiction, the Commissioner may consult with any of the affected governmental entities concerning said permit.|
|(5)||Non-compliance with the provisions of the Georgia Boat Safety Act or these regulations may constitute basis for revocation of permit.|
|(6)||Any person seeking to conduct an organized and/or advertised regatta, boat race, marine parade, tournament or exhibition, who believes that such event may not introduce the degree of extra or unusual hazard that would require the event to be defined as a "marine event", may request a determination, in advance of the times specified in subsection (1) above, of whether a permit will be required.|
|(7)|| The sponsor's
written certification of the following circumstances and conditions will
justify a determination that no permit is required unless the Commissioner
determines that despite said certification, the proposed event does pose an
extra or unusual hazard so as to require a permit:
The applicant shall submit written verification that the person responsible for management of the waters in question has been notified of the proposed marine event(s). In addition, any application for a permit to conduct a marine event requiring a bond shall provide written verification that the appropriate authorities have acknowledged to the applicant their capability and willingness to supply adequate safety, security, traffic control, law enforcement, emergency medical assistance, and appropriate protection or denial of access to private property or that the applicant has the capability and is willing to provide the above stated services.
The sponsor shall ensure that all participants are either knowledgeable or have been notified of the requirements of the Georgia Boat Safety Act, as amended, with special attention to the safety equipment provisions. Such equipment shall include, but shall not be limited to, Type I, II, III, or IV, U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices.
The Department may require that because of the special hazards posed by some types of marine events, participants and spectators on the water during such events shall at all times wear the above - mentioned personal flotation devices.
Vessel operators in a sanctioned motor vessel race with an approved Marine Event Permit are exempt from the age restrictions on vessel operation set forth in Chapter 7 of Title 52 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated while they are operating a vessel within the area approved for the race as a participant in the race.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve participants and spectators of their responsibility for compliance with the Georgia Boat Safety Act.
|(1)||The Department may restrict the participation in such events to vessels whose construction materials are inherently buoyant (e.g. wood) or which have buoyancy materials built into them, unless the sponsor agrees to remove from the water body any nonbuoyant vessels that may sink during the event.|
|(2)||The Department may restrict the participation of vessels in such events to those constructed in such a manner that they can reasonably be expected to be put in, floated upon and removed in one piece.|
|(3)||Buoyancy materials for those vessels whose construction materials are not inherently buoyant will be limited to those which will not easily fragment or become separated from the vessel. Polystyrene blocks will be allowed only if suitably encased to prevent fragmentation.|
The Department, when issuing a permit, shall set appropriate time limits for such marine event. During the time periods set by permit for a marine event, the Department may establish specific periods for the use of cut-outs and unnumbered vessels as provided in the Georgia Boat Safety Act.
To minimize the degradation of the natural resources involved, the Department may require the sponsor:
|(a)||to ensure that sufficient solid waste containers are available to accommodate the convenient deposit of all solid waste generated by the marine event.|
|(b)||to ensure that participants and sponsor-approved concessionaires are notified of the requirements of the Georgia Litter Control Law; and|
any other requirements deemed reasonably necessary to prevent the degradation
of the natural resources.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve participants, spectators and sponsor-approved concessionaires of their responsibility for compliance with the Georgia Litter Control Law. Ga. Laws 1970, p. 494.
The sponsor may be required to ensure that there are sufficient sanitary facilities available to accommodate expected participants and spectators.
The sponsor may be required to provide sufficient means for remedial recovery and proper disposal of all sunken and floating debris. If the event is held on a river or stream, the debris recovery program shall include intensive recovery activity immediately downstream of the completion point during and immediately following the event.
The sponsor may be required to restore all land and water areas impacted by the marine event to their pre-event natural state within a reasonable time to be determined by the Department.
The Department may establish restrictions on the movements of vessels or other types of watercraft and flotation devices, including but not limited to inner tubes, and inflatable rafts, and other water activities in the immediate area of the event. Whenever the Commissioner issues a marine event permit under circumstances in which the permitted event will fully utilize the recreative capacity of the water body or portion thereof upon which it will be held, or the nature or size of the event or public safety considerations dictate that the water body be closed, for the duration of the permitted event, to use by anyone not an official participant in the event, he may declare that the exclusive use of the said water body or portion thereof is devoted to the permitted event. This exclusive use declaration shall limit the use of the waters so designated to only those persons who are authorized to participate in the permitted marine event. The sponsor of an exclusive use marine event shall be required as specified by the conditions of the permit to mark, by means of buoys, signs or other appropriate means, the said water body or portion thereof so as to notify the public of the extent and duration of exclusive use. Such sponsor may also be required, when the exclusive use is likely to pre-empt a large number of potential users, to notify the public of the exclusive use, its extent and duration by an appropriate form of public notice, including use of news media. It shall be unlawful for any person not an official participant in a permitted event to fail to obey markers, buoys, or signs designating water bodies or portions thereof as closed for exclusive use for the duration of the permitted marine event.
After issuance of a permit, the Department may require the sponsor to give the public full and adequate notice of the time and location of the marine event, together with full and complete information of any pertinent restrictions as imposed under the authority of section 391-4-5-.12.
The Department may require the sponsor to provide aids to navigation, as deemed necessary to assist in the observance and enforcement of any restrictions established for the holding of a marine event.
In the issuance of a marine event permit, the Commissioner may, based on the application submitted, the magnitude of the event, the water body on which it will be held, the capability of the applicant or his agents, representatives or employees to comply with the public safety and natural resource protection requirements contained in these regulations, the applicant's previous experience, the Department's previous experience in regulating similar events and such other information as may be pertinent, require of the applicant the following additional information for the purpose of determining his eligibility to receive such a permit:
|(a)||for marine events likely to attract 10,000 or more participants and/or spectators, the ability to meet the bonding requirements of subsection (c) of Section 6 of the Georgia Boat Safety Act and rule 391-45-.18 herein;|
|(b)||assurance that the public safety requirements listed in Rule 391-4-5-.04 can be provided, each listed service, the type and amount of services and manpower to be provided by such persons and the plan for coordinating the activities of the public safety authorities assisting in the conduct of the event;|
|(c)||the ability to notify participants of the boating safety requirements contained in Rule 391-4-5-.05, including a plan for disseminating these requirements to participants and water-borne spectators;|
|(d)||the ability to assure that all vessels entered in the event will be restricted to those constructed in such a manner and having buoyancy materials complying with Rule 391-4-5-.06;|
|(e)||the submittal of an agenda indicating the schedule of activities which will take place during the time allotted for the permitted event as provided in Rule 391-4-5-.07;|
|(f)||the ability to meet the solid waste disposal requirements contained in Rule 391-4-5-.08, including plans specifying the types of containers which will be used to accommodate solid waste generated during the event, the location of such containers during the event and plans for the disposition of the solid waste at the conclusion of the event, explanations of how participants and sponsor-approved food and beverage concessionaires will be notified of the requirements of the Georgia Litter Control Law;|
|(g)||the ability to meet the requirements for sanitary facilities as required in Rule 391-4-5-.09, including plans for determining an adequate number of facilities for a permitted event, plans for the placement of the facilities in the area of the permitted event and plans for removal of sanitary facilities and disposal of waste materials;|
|(h)||plans for debris recovery as required in Rule 391-4-5-.10 including provisions for the recovery of sunken and floating debris in the area of the permitted event, plus all debris generated by the event down-stream of the finish point if the event is to be held on a river or stream;|
|(i)||the ability to meet the site restoration requirements contained in Rule 391-4-5-.11, including plans for restoring areas within the permitted event to their pre-event condition when such areas have been negatively impacted by large crowds which disrupt vegetation, soils and other natural or man-made features present at the event site; and|
|(j)||overall ability to coordinate the requirements contained in this subsection into a single comprehensive plan for the conduct of a marine event.|
If two or more applicants otherwise meeting the requirements of this chapter desire to conduct marine events on the same body of water during the same period of time, and if the Commissioner determines that in his best judgment a particular body of water has the natural resource capacity to support only one marine event during a given period of time, he may determine that one exclusive marine event permit is in the best interest of the public. In such an instance, the Commissioner shall issue a permit to one of the applicants after carefully evaluating all applications on the basis of the following additional considerations:
|(a)||the past experience of the applicant in conducting marine events or other similar activities in a manner consistent with the protection of public safety and of natural resources;|
|(b)||the balance of public costs associated with conducting each applicant's proposed marine event, i.e. public safety, environmental degradation, and the financial and manpower burden of public agencies, as compared with the public recreational benefits likely to result from each applicant's proposed marine event.|
Whenever the Commissioner determines in advance that any of the waters of this State and their adjoining upland resource are not capable, without sustaining damage, of withstanding an unlimited number of marine events in any period of time, he may restrict the size, number, or duration of events that will be permitted for the said period of time on said waters and their adjoining upland resource. In determining an appropriate period of time for which to impose such restrictions, the Commissioner shall consider the size of the water body, the fragility of the ecosystem in the water body and its adjoining upland resource, the likelihood of applications for large marine events to be held thereon and his ability to protect the natural resource values of the potentially affected area by means of permit conditions. Such restrictions and their duration shall be publicly announced in a manner calculated to provide a reasonable time for preparation and submittal of applications for permits for marine events within the restricted area and in any event no less than 90 days prior to the effective date of such restriction.
Rule 391-4-5-.18 Criteria for Requiring Indemnity and Forfeiture Bonds and for Declaring Default Thereon
|(1)|| Indemnity bonds.
|(2)|| Forfeiture Bonds.
In order to implement certain provisions of the Georgia Boat Safety Act, as amended, and specifically those provisions of paragraph (5) of subsection (c) of Section 11 of said Act relating to boating safety zones within the boundaries of designated swimming areas, the following swimming areas and beaches are identified as designated swimming, areas:
|(a)|| Allatoona Lake
|(b)|| Lake Blue Ridge
|(c)|| Carters Lake
|(d)|| Lake Lanier
|(e)|| Lake Hartwell
|(f)|| Lake Chatuge
|(g)|| Lake Nottely
|(h)|| Lake Burton
|(i)|| Lake Rabun
|(j)|| West Point Lake
|(k)|| Lake Oliver
|(l)|| Clark Hill Lake
|(m)|| Lake Oconee
|(n)|| Lake Sinclair
|(o)|| Lake Jackson
|(p)|| Lake Walter F. George
|(q)|| Lake Seminole
|(r)|| Ogeechee River - U.S. Highway
|(s)|| Diamond Causeway (Skidaway Island Road at
Intracoastal Waterway-Chatham County)
|(t)|| Lake Tobesofkee
|(u)|| Lake Blackshear
|(v)|| Lake Richard B. Russell
|(w)|| Hard Labor Creek State Park (Lake
|(x)|| Reed Bingham
State Park Lake
In order to implement certain provisions of the Georgia Boat Safety Act, as amended, and specifically those provisions of subsection (b) of Section 17 of said Act relating to restricted use of public waters in the vicinity of properly marked marinas, bridges, public access ramps and blind points, the followings areas are identified as restricted use areas:
|(3)||Public Access Ramps:
Any rule, or part thereof in conflict with the above rules is hereby repealed.
|(1)|| For the purposes of this Rule, the
following definitions shall apply:
|(2)||A boat livery may not rent, lease, or let for hire any vessel ten horsepower or more to any person under 16 years of age. On and after July 1, 2014, a boat livery may rent, lease, or let for hire a vessel ten horsepower or more to a person 16 years of age or older if such person has completed a Rental Education Course approved by the Department's Law Enforcement Division and if all persons 16 years of age or older who intend to operate such vessel have also completed the Rental Education Course.|
Education Courses provided by boat liveries must be approved by the
Department's Law Enforcement Division and must result in a Rental Education
Certificate being issued upon successful completion of the Course. Rental
Education Certificates shall be effective for six months after the date of
issuance and shall be valid anywhere in the State of Georgia. Boat liveries may
use Rental Education Course materials provided by the Department, or they may
use Rental Education Course materials approved by the Department. At a minimum,
a Rental Education Course must consist of a ten minute operator operation
familiarization video followed by a renter orientation checklist. Such video
must address the following topics in order to be approved:
|(4)||The requirement to complete a Rental Education Course does not apply to any person licensed by the United States Coast Guard as a master of a vessel, any person who has in his or her possession a valid boater education identification card showing that he or she has completed a boating education course approved by the Department's Law Enforcement Division, or a nonresident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.|
|(5)||Any person who violates this Rule shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.|