NEW ORLEANS (March 15, 2018) – The temperature may be cool outside, but the Eighth Coast Guard District joins boating safety advocates across the country to urge recreational boaters to enroll in a boating education course. 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 during the week of March 18-24, 2018 to enroll in 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.”
Eighth Coast Guard District boating safety program manager Ed Huntsman noted that 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 from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons and their home state 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.
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.
For more on boating safety see Prepare Your Boating Safety Gear For 2018 As The Season Winds Down.