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SLOW DOWN! Speed and Wake Enforcement, Thunderbolt, GA, AICW Statute Mile 583, New Comments

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this warning is to remind you to slow down and watch your wake wherever you are, not to assist you in avoiding law enforcement. This specific warning of a speed trap is based on hearsay and it’s the first such we’ve had in a long while. However, a word to the wise calls for carefully watching your speed and wake through this area. If you encounter speed/wake enforcement in Thunderbolt, let us hear from you. Our thanks to Steve and Barb Sipe for this report.

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Have heard reports in the past few days of speeding violations being issued on the GA ICW around Thunderbolt, in the area of G33 to G37. Reports indicate LEO’s are stopping vessels for speeding/violation of no wake zones and issuing warnings and in some cases, citations with a fine of $1,000. No specific information as to the enforcement agency conducting the stops, either state or local, not USCG.
Might be worth a mention on the site as a problem area.
Steve & Barb Sipe
Solo 4303 “Maerin”

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marker #33

Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (12)

  1. Tom Hale -  January 13, 2017 - 4:05 pm

    I was at Thunderbolt Dec 21 and 22. i asked about an unusual or increased enforcement. The marina staff was not aware of ay such activity whatsoever.

  2. H.J. Bjarno -  January 6, 2017 - 6:03 pm

    I am a safe and courteous boater and yes I come from the north, but still south of the Mason/Dixon line.
    I got stopped just passing Thunderbolt with a sog ( that’s speed over ground for you locals) of 3 kts and a good current against. I was told by GDNR sargent that I had to do idle speed! I asked him what idle speed means and he answered 1000 rpm?? I told him if I did 1000 rpm I would be doing 6 kts. and as others have said no solid object can go through a fluid without making a wave. I got a warning, but the Sabre behind me got $1000…. I must not be looking like the 1%ers!

    • Emory -  March 10, 2017 - 3:57 pm

      Did you actually mean to say $1,000.00 (one thousand dollar) fine??

  3. Ron -  January 2, 2017 - 11:55 am

    I try my best to abide by any no-wake or speed regulations but there are two problems:
    1) Many, many waterfront homeowners have posted their own “no-wake” signs making it hard to distinguish the real ones from the fake ones. I realize that some homeowners are concerned with excessive wakes, but they have no more right to post these signs than I have to post fake speed limit signs in front of my property.
    2) Wakes are subjective, rather than objective. As someone else mentioned, you can’t move a boat through the water at any speed without making some sort of wake. So when does a ripple become a wake? And in whose opinion? How do you defend yourself in court if you get a ticket? We can’t measure a wake height and neither can a LEO.

    Someone mentioned boating into a current. If you’re boating into a two knot current, you have to make two knots just to stay in place and four knots to make two knots over ground.

    Yes, we should do our best to boat safely and obey boating laws. Sometimes, it’s not as easy as it might seem to people other than boaters.

  4. Rich Tanner S/V Feral Cat -  December 3, 2016 - 8:43 am

    I agree with Tracy. They are breaking the law, increasing erosion and sometimes creating hazardous wakes. There are reasons for No Wake and speed limits.
    I absolutely don’t think your publicizing the locations is a good idea.

  5. Kevin R. Quinn -  December 2, 2016 - 6:51 pm

    We call it the Parade. All the boats coming from up north going to Florida. There are a lot of them and it looks like a long parade of boats. We love Yankees the talk fast drive fast have fast women and money. The drive fast thru no-wake-zones and bridges. In Georgia it is against the law to make a wake going under a bridge like the one in Thunderbolt. “No wake Idle speed only” means no bow wake you know the little bitty six inch wake your bow is making; It is a wake. When Yankees slow down from 35 knots to 25 knots that doesn’t count. Thanks for the money. It is only money go as fast as you want. Don’t worry about respecting your fellow boaters tied to the docks in those no- wake-zones

  6. Mike C -  December 2, 2016 - 4:26 pm

    Just conjecture here: went by there in early November and someone chastised me about my wake over the VHF. I have a sail cat and was doing less than 6 kts. My wake was quite minimal. I wonder if soneone’s complaints is causing a crackdown. Let’s keep the wakes down but not get crazy unreasonable.

  7. tracy hellman -  December 1, 2016 - 1:43 pm

    Why should we warn them? If they are speeding they need to learn a lesson. #noradardetectors

    • Bill -  December 2, 2016 - 3:24 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. How about just a general reminder. If you are caught violating any speed or wake law, you are subject to a fine.

    • Fragrante Delicto -  December 2, 2016 - 7:09 pm

      Because No Wake is ambiguous at best. You cannot move a solid thru a liquid without creating a wake. Add to that a full flood tide on the nose and the Slow Speed – No Wake issue is subjective. That’s how I talked my way out of a citation near Vernon View.

      • Bill -  December 9, 2016 - 3:00 pm

        Congratulations, you got lucky. Keep pushing the limits and your luck will run out.

      • Tracy Hellman -  January 13, 2017 - 2:08 pm

        That’s total nonsense! You need to slow down, period!

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