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More info on Augusta's tour boat plan

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - A pontoon boat was out at the Savannah River, it wasn't the city's offering rides. But one day, one might be. 

"We're always looking to re-invent. I think if we had a boat where we could give tours of the water...maybe its hourly tours, maybe it's a few tours a day," says Commissioner Sean Frantom. 

Tuesday, Commissioners approved developing a cost package to purchase a used 12 passenger pontoon boat for river activities.

Beth Christian operates the 5th Street Marina and has talked with the Recreation Department about the boat project.

"I'm not sure of the profitability of it because of the fact of the smallness of the boat. But it would be a good community service, if anything else. More than that it would be a community service," said Christian. 

"Maybe it's a 30 minute, maybe it's an hour tour. Not trying to charge a lot, but at least make back our money," said Commissioner Frantom.

Commissioners also voted to determine if the boat could be operated by a city worker or would it require a certified captain. 

"You don't need a captain for a pontoon boat, if you have a 20 passenger some kind of boat it may call for a captain you don't need a captain for that," said Commissioner Marion Williams. 

"We would have to have somebody on the boat if we're going to take liability, I would like to have the marina have the coast guard or somebody handle the boat for us," said Commissioner Frantom. 

"You have to have a captain's license in order to drive a boat with a party like that," said Christian.

So there's a lot of give and take before the city takes its boat on the river.

Though the commission voted to forward getting the boat, Frantom expects the commission will still have to give final approval to the purchase price and the cost of the program. 


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