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2022 Personal Injury

One Fatality and Multiple Injured in Flint River Boating Accident in Bainbridge

Fox31 reported that Bainbridge Public Safety (BPS) was on the scene at Earle May Boat Basin, in response to a fatal boating accident that occurred on the Flint River near Bainbridge on Saturday, March 19. 

BPS then alerted the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Critical Response team to investigate the incident.

According to the DNR, the accident involved a collision between a 2022 Xpress Center console boat and a 2001 Stratos bass boat. The Stratos’ operator suffered a fatal injury, while his passenger was taken to hospital, and the operator of the Xpress Center and his passenger also required medical attention.

Both the Stratos and the Xpress Center were involved in two separate fishing tournaments being held in the area. While Tiff County Schools’ bass team had eight boats competing in one of the tournaments, none of the team’s boats were involved in the accident, nor were they in the vicinity when the collision occurred. 

Georgia Boating Laws

As can be seen in these 2020 boating statistics, as well as the boating statistics from previous years, fatal boating accidents occur every year in Georgia. 

Just like there are rules of the road which all drivers should know when they’re driving on a public roadway, there are also boating rules and regulations that apply to the waterways in Georgia. 

The DNR’s Law Enforcement Division advises boaters to know the boating laws in Georgia before they get their boats in the water. It’s important to be familiar with the rules because accidents can happen quickly while on the water, and knowing what you’re allowed – and not allowed – to do while on the water can make a big difference when it comes to accidents and injuries

The following are some of the rules boaters are required to follow when operating their boats in Georgia waters:

  • 100-foot law. The 100-foot law applies to all boats, including Jet Skis and other personal watercraft. When your boat or personal watercraft is within 100 feet of a wharf, dock, bridge, pier, shoreline, or people in the water, you must slow to idle speed. 
  • Boating under the influence. It’s illegal to drink and drive, and it’s also illegal to drink and boat. In Georgia, you’re not allowed to go boating if you’re intoxicated. And boat and personal watercraft owners should be aware that it’s also illegal to let someone else operate their boats or personal watercraft if that person is under the influence.
  • Passing and crossing. You should always pass a boat on the right side unless the other boat is far enough away that the two vehicles aren’t meeting head-on (or close to meeting head-on). And when crossing paths, the boat on the right has the right of way, so if you’re operating the boat on the left, you need to slow down and do your crossing behind the boat on the right. 

A Tifton Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Unfortunately, accidents on the water aren’t an infrequent occurrence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, the Tifton personal injury lawyers at Hudson Injury Firm can assist you. Get the help you need now by contacting us today.