A news release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources advises boaters to enroll in courses to get educated prior to the kick-off of boating season.
“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.
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 states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. For a summary of Georgia’s regulations and available courses, visit: gadnrle.org/boating-education.
The annual Spring Aboard campaign is led by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, and it 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.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 56 states and the U.S. territories.
The association offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 73.5 million American boaters.