Just like drunk driving, drunk boating is very dangerous and is responsible for causing many accidents. In an effort to keep people from boating after drinking too much, stricter laws were recently passed in the state of Georgia. One innovative businessman and boater himself saw the strict laws as an opportunity—both to make some money and to save lives.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jeff Perfater started a business called SafeNav in May. It is based on the recognition that boaters sometimes get out on the water and then have too much to drink. Just as you would call a cab from a bar to prevent driving drunk, SafeNav can come pick you up when you are too drunk to boat.
Perfater is a U.S. Coast Guard certified master captain. He knows a few things about boating. For $125, he will meet up with a boater, tie his inflatable Zodiac on, and come aboard. Then, he’ll pilot the boat back to its launching point and tie it off before leaving on his Zodiac again.
The idea for the business came to him last year after two separate accidents at Lake Lanier, both blamed on drunk boating. One involved two young brothers who were killed when their boat was hit by an allegedly intoxicated boater. Another accident happened when a jet ski struck young Kyle Glover while he was in the water, leaving him with fatal injuries.
“There was a lot going on last year … and I had just come up on my [master captain] license but wasn’t sure how I was going to use it,” Perfater said. “I just said, ‘This is exactly what we need to do.’”
SafeNav is the first and only business of its kind on Lake Lanier, for now. Perfater says the insurance costs of his business keep many potential competitors out of the game. However, he says, he isn’t in the business for the money, but to keep the water safe.
“We’re not looking to make a big buck on this,” he told AJC. “We’re trying to keep the accident quotient down on the lake.”
So far, he is having considerable success and staying busy. He has two other Coast Guard certified captains on the payroll and maintains a regular job when he’s not on the water.
Boat accidents may not be as common as car accidents, but they do happen. And when they happen to you, you have legal options.
Atlanta Boat Accident Lawyers
The accident attorneys of The Millar Law Firm understand what it’s like to be involved in an accident that isn’t your fault. If you’ve been hurt in a boating accident, contact us today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help. Call 404-620-4301.