Tougher Safety Requirement Possible At Lake Norman
LAKE NORMAN, N.C. —
Park rangers at Lake Norman were busy Saturday preparing for a busy weekend as thousands of boaters and swimmers are expected to hit the water during the Labor Day weekend.
A Lake Norman marine commissioner told Eyewitness News that the waters are not as safe as they could be for patrons. He and other marine commissioners drafted an ordinance to change that.
The ordinance, if passed, would require boat renters to take a mandatory safety course before hitting the water. North Carolina state law mandates that anyone under the age of 26 take the course before legally operating a boat. However, boat renters aren't required to take the course.
The proposed law would make even boat renters at Lake Norman take a six- to seven-hour safety course. The ordinance could be presented to the public for comment by fall.
Commissioner John Marino said the law could help prevent accidents like the one three months ago that injured Deondra Scott.
An inexperienced boater backed into Scott while she was in the water and injured her arm. Scott’s arm and breast had to be amputated.
"People who are on the lake must know how to properly operate a vessel," said Marino.
Marino also said many local organizations offer the class for free.