Next week, Mar. 18-24, is a great time to take a boating safety course. Why? It’s perfect timing just before the start of the boating and fishing season and the week-long ‘Spring Aboard’ public service campaign makes it easy for boaters to take a boating safety course. The educational effort is a partnership of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), government, and nonprofit partners including the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.
The BoatUS Foundation offers a no-cost NASBLA and state-approved online boating safety course for 36 states at BoatUS.org/Free. The course fits into busy schedules, allowing boaters to stop, and then start again where they left off any time of day or night, and is loaded with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating. Upon successful passage course takers can easily print their state’s proof of completion. More than 1.4 million boaters have taken the Foundation’s courses since 1997.
US Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.