Local News

Governor considers safe boating legislation

Posted July 3, 2009 1:45 p.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2009 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Boating, especially on a summer weekend, is a popular pastime in the Tar Heel state. There are more than 300,000 water-going vessels registered with the state.

“Getting some kids out there in the water doing some tubing – it's just a great time with the family,” Matthew Petee said.

Young operators of those vessels may need to spend some time in the classroom if the governor signs a boating safety bill into law.

Senate Bill 43 would require that anyone born after 1984 complete a certified safe boating course before taking the controls of any vessel with more than 10 horsepower.

The proposal is an effort to cut down on the dangers to boaters, water skiiers and others who enjoy a day at the lake. In 2008, 150 boaters crashed in North Carolina. Eighteen were killed.

“Being able to control your watercraft is an important thing whether it's a boat or a jet ski, whatever it may be," Rob Carman said.

Petee agreed. "There are specific rules on the water," he said. "What do the buoys mean? What do the flags mean? ... There's a lot of responsibility out here. The more you know, the better off everybody is."

If the governor signs the bill into law, it would take effect May 2010.