Anyone who is a new — or experienced — boater is encouraged to attend one of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) free safety-education courses. In addition to providing an overview of the basic skills required to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, the courses also cover trailering, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, watersports and boating emergencies.
Novice Or Veteran
“Whether this is your first watercraft or you’re a veteran to all things boating-related, taking one of our courses will help prepare you to have a safe and fun day out on the lake or river,” said Josh Hoffman, boating safety education coordinator for AZGFD. “The time you invest into taking our classes will come back tenfold when you encounter an issue or question while out enjoying one of Arizona’s waterways.”
The Boater Education Course is offered monthly in Phoenix and Lake Havasu City and can accommodate up to 30 students depending on the location. The instructors all have backgrounds in boating and are a great resource for answering questions. Registration is available online, and the next courses are offered Jan. 20. And there’s an added financial benefit: Many insurance companies will offer a discount on the boat’s rate for completing the course.
The Paddlesports Education Course is a smaller class, with a capacity of eight to 12 students, and held in Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Show Low and at Lake Pleasant. Aimed at those who enjoy or want to learn more about kayaking, canoeing and standup paddleboards, the course includes time in the classroom and hands-on instruction on the water.
AZGFD welcomes groups to attend the courses. For example, Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops or outdoors groups can contact the Education Branch at 623-236-7258 to learn about the opportunities available.
Just A Click Away
The AZGFD website also includes information about a number of online courses that have been approved by the department. Becoming a safe and knowledgeable boater is just a click away.
“Whether you prefer an in-person or online course, educated boaters are better prepared for whatever they may encounter during a day out on the water,” Hoffman said.