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State officials urge boat safety for July 4th, highlight law requiring boater education course

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SOCIAL CIRCLE, Georgia — State officials are urging boat safety this July 4th and reminding boaters of a new law requiring them to complete an education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources.

Officials say rangers will be working "to keep the lakes and rivers safe and patrolling for those who make poor decisions and unsafe choices."

The new law took effect on July 1 and requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, must complete the course before operating a motorized vessel on state waters. The law also requires anyone renting a boat or personal watercraft to watch a short video and complete a safety checklist unless they have completed a boater education course.

Officials say 40 boating incidents so far this year have resulted in three deaths and 28 injuries.

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