Heavier Bodies Mean Less Seats on Georgia Ferries

December 19, 2011

Passengers are getting heavier, so the Coast Guard is trimming the number of seats on Savannah, Ga.,’s ferryboats.

The Savannah Morning News reports the water taxis taking visitors between Savannah’s riverfront and its convention center across the water have shed 14 to 20 seats apiece this month.

That’s because the Coast Guard has updated its weight guidelines for water safety to reflect that Americans are getting heftier – averaging 185 pounds now as opposed to 165 pounds back in the 1960s.

The basic math: if passengers are getting bigger, the boats can’t safely hold as many people.

Jimmy Gunby, Savannah’s director of marine operations, says it’s not a big problem. The ferries, which can hold from 86 to 129 passengers, rarely get full.

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