The temperature may still be cool outside in much of the country, but boating safety advocates urge boaters to enroll in a boating education course now. The Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign encourages boaters to get educated prior to the kick-off of the boating season. Many education providers offer discounts or other incentives for students when they enroll in a boating education course during Spring Aboard Week, March 18-24, 2018.
“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water,” says Tom Guess, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and lead organization for Spring Aboard. “If a boater has taken a boating safety education course, the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater, for them and their passengers. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing. Spring is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 77% of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.
With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for every boater’s schedule. Boaters have multiple options ranging from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons, to online offerings available anytime day or night.
Education course providers and offerings will vary between states, so check with your local course provider or state boating agency to find out what courses are accepted in your area. Many states require completion of a course verified by NASBLA as meeting the national boating education standard for powerboat rental or operation. To ensure a course qualifies, look for the ‘NASBLA-Approved’ logo.
Forty-nine (49) states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. For a summary of available courses by state, visit www.springaboard.org.
The annual Spring Aboard campaign is led by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, and is supported by state, federal and nonprofit partners. It is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors, and course providers. For more information, visit www.springaboard.org.