2020 Georgia Code
Title 52 - Waters of the State, Ports, and Watercraft
Chapter 7 - Registration, Operation, and Sale of Watercraft
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 52-7-20. Operation of Vessels in Vicinity of Regulatory Markers and Aids to Navigation; Tampering With Regulatory Markers and Aids to Navigation

Universal Citation: GA Code § 52-7-20 (2020)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Aids to navigation" means buoys, beacons, or other fixed objects in the water which are used to mark obstructions to navigation or to direct navigation through safe channels.
    2. "Regulatory markers" means any anchored or fixed marker in or on the water or any sign on the shore or on a bridge over the water other than aids to navigation and shall include, but not be limited to, bathing markers, speed zone markers, information markers, danger zone markers, boat keep-out area markers, and mooring buoys.
  2. It shall be unlawful to operate a power boat, except at an idle speed, or to create a wake in the vicinity of those marinas, bridges, public access ramps, and blind points which are identified by appropriate signs and markers which conform to the system of aids to navigation prescribed by the United States Coast Guard and to the system of uniform waterway markers approved by the Advisory Panel of State Officials to the Merchant Marine Council or on any portion of the Chattahoochee River between the Morgan Falls Dam and the Georgia Highway 400 bridge which the department so marks as being so restricted.
  3. It shall be unlawful to tow a person on water skis, aquaplanes, surfboards, or any similar device or to manipulate any such device on any public waters of the state which the commissioner has designated as a hazardous area or on the Chattahoochee River between the Morgan Falls Dam and the Georgia Highway 400 bridge in any area identified by regulatory markers as a no ski area.
  4. The commissioner is authorized to regulate and restrict vessel operation and other recreational water related activities on the public waters of the state. The Department of Natural Resources is authorized to place or designate the placement of signs and markers so as to identify the areas restricted by this Code section.
  5. No city, county, or individual may attempt to regulate the public waters of this state by use of the above-mentioned signs and markers without the express written permission of the commissioner of natural resources.
  6. The operation of any vessel within prohibited areas that are marked shall be prima-facie evidence of negligent operation.
  7. It shall be unlawful for a person to operate a vessel on the waters of this state in a manner other than that prescribed or permitted by regulatory markers.
  8. No person shall moor or fasten a vessel to or willfully damage, tamper, remove, obstruct, or interfere with any aid to navigation or regulatory marker established pursuant to this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 487, § 10; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1427, § 17; Ga. L. 1980, p. 738, §§ 12, 13; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 52; Ga. L. 1993, p. 351, §§ 3, 4; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1273, § 2.)



- Measure and elements of damages for injury to bridge, 31 A.L.R.5th 171.

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