Spring Aboard: Boaters urged to be educated before boating season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The temperature may still be cool outside, but it is a perfect time of year to start getting prepared for the boating season. Boating safety advocates are urging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the main boating season. Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign is a nationally coordinated effort during the week of March 18-24, 2018, to increase the awareness of taking a boating education course.

“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water,” said 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 as well as their passengers. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing, and 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 percent 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 schedule. Boaters have multiple options 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. Forty-nine states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. For a summary of our Kansas’ regulations and available courses, visit http://ksoutdoors.com/Boating/Boating-Education

For more information about the annual Spring Aboard campaign, visit www.springaboard.org.

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