SAVANNAH, GA (June 30, 2011): With the Independence Day long weekend ahead, Chatham County’s Intra-Coastal Waterways will be filled with boaters enjoying the firework displays and summer fun along the Savannah and Wilmington Rivers.


Savannah-Chatham Metro Marine Patrol Unit wants to encourage all boaters to pay close attention to safety to ensure that everyone enjoys the holiday celebrations without incident. Boating smart, means wearing a life jacket, and refraining from boating while under the influence.


It only takes a second to turn what is meant to be an enjoyable time to tragedy while boating. Life Jacket’s can be the determining factor between life and death in many boating accidents. Too much alcohol only increases the odds of boating mishaps.


Each year, on average, 700 people die in boating related accidents – 8 out of every 10 victims were not wearing a life jacket.


To ensure that boaters have a safe and enjoyable time, Marine Patrol officers will be on constant patrol starting Saturday. Boaters can expect to see the officers throughout the weekend, checking vessels for required safety equipment and taking corrective action as needed.


The importance of wearing life jackets and exercising safety when boating or in the water cannot be overemphasized. The Metro Police Marine Patrol has a goal to eliminate deaths, injuries, and property damage associated with recreational boating. Boating smart is an essential part of any day on the water regardless of the time of year. So remember to boat smart, boat safe, remain sober, and wear your life jacket