Officers say boaters still getting used to new life jacket law

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, May 27, 2013

APPLING, Ga. (WRDW) -- "Wear your life jacket!" exclaimed Gianna Anderson.

It's good advice from the 9-year-old girl, but as of 10 days ago, wearing a life jacket isn't just good advice, it's the law.

"The child life jacket used to when you turned age 10, you could take your life jacket off in any moving vessel. Now, the age is 13," said Ranger First Class Bobby Timmerman, DNR Law Enforcement.

Before it was a Georgia law, it was a mother's law for these two girls.

"Before the boat leaves the shore, they must have on their life jacket, and they have to wear it the whole entire time they're on the boat. I don't want to have to worry about them going under and not being able to find them," mother Casie Anderson explained.

Officers on the lake are making sure people know the new law.

"I see you got your little man in a life jacket. That's good! We're gonna go ahead and check the rest of your safety equipment. I just need to see one, two, three, four , five, six, seven life jackets," Timmerman said as he approached a boat.

He says this weekend has been more about educating the public than giving citations.

"We've given a lot of verbal guidance this weekend on that," he said.

It's a law Anderson will have no trouble following.

"Oh I'm always a nervous wreck when they're around the water, so any time, even if they're at the shore, they have to have on their life jacket all the time," she said.

This new law just went into effect 10 days ago, and officers say people are still getting used to it.

DNR says the good news is that so far we haven't had any boating incidents in our area this holiday weekend.

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