The temperature may be cool outside, but the Nevada Department of Wildlife is encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course before boating season as part of the national Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign.
“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% of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.
“Our boating accident investigations show that most people who get in a boating accident have not taken a boating education course,” said Game Warden Captain David Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator. “It’s common sense that people who know how to boat do it much safer.”
Some boaters are required to take a course. Nevada boaters born on or after January 1, 1983 who operate a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower on interstate waters must complete a boating education course. Nevada also requires nonresidents to meet the education requirement for their home state, but even with requirements in place, many boaters never complete a course.
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 Nevada’s regulations and available courses, visit: www.ndow.org.
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.