State DNR to host first boating safety course in Bartow County
by Matt Shinall
Mar 30, 2013 | 1156 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ first Bartow County boating safety course isn’t set to take place until June, rangers are looking to fill seats early to determine the need and interest of area boaters.

To promote safety on the waters of Lake Allatoona, DNR rangers will conduct a free boating safety course on June 8, but need reservations from those interested in attending to verify that there is a need for this course and others like it in the future.

“It’s a boat safety class for laws and regulations,” said Conservation Ranger Zack Hardy. “We won’t be necessarily teaching how to drive a boat, it’s pretty much just about boat safety and the rules of the lake while operating a boat.”

Similar courses have been offered in the past by DNR on Lake Lanier, but efforts have just begun to include Lake Allatoona with the area’s first class being held in Cherokee County in May.

“We’re really just starting to do this course,” Hardy said. “Our first one is coming up in May in Cherokee County on May 18.”

The Bartow County boating safety course will be an all-day, eight-hour course beginning at 8 a.m. on June 8 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Allatoona Office, 1138 Highway 20 Spur, Cartersville.

“It’s really aimed at anyone that hasn’t driven a boat, but it’s also really good for younger kids that may just be getting into water sports, like driving jet skis and things like that,” Hardy said. “But old-timers too that have been on the lake all their life can still come to the course. It’s not just for beginners; it’s for anyone that’s interested.”

Hardy said the lake has already seen a lot of activity this year and he expected the warm weather of Easter weekend to draw big crowds of fishermen. Rangers remind those already on the water to wear their life jackets as water temperatures can remain relatively low even in the warm days of early spring.

Those interested in reserving their seat for the free boating safety course are encouraged to visit the USACE Allatoona Office at the end of Spur 20 to put their names on the class role. For more information, call 678-721-6700.