PRATT – Before the boating season begins, you check your boat for gas, stock your cooler with ice, and chuck sunscreen in your “things to take,” bag, but have you crossed off Boating Education from your “things to do” list? Don’t wait until the weather is nice and plans with friends are made before you take a boating education course. “Spring Aboard” a class now, so you can get straight to the good times this summer.
To encourage boaters to sign up for boating education courses before the season begins, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), U.S. Coast Guard, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and others are promoting theSpring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign March 19-25, 2017.
“If we can increase the knowledge of the average boater, we can make our waterways significantly safer for recreational boaters,” said Stephanie Weatherington, NASBLA President. “The majority of recreational boaters are not on the water frequently enough, or for the length of time needed, to become an expert at operating a vessel. This is where boating education plays an important role.”
During the weeklong campaign, many course providers will be offering discounts and other incentives for those who enroll or complete a boating education course. In Kansas, a boater education course is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1989, and under the age of 21, wanting to operate a motorboat or sailboat without adult supervision.
Boaters can take a traditional classroom course offered by KDWPT (visit ksoutdoors.com/Boating/
Courses are also offered through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Sailing, U.S. Power Squadrons, BoatUS Foundation, and numerous private and online course providers. For more information on boating safety, contact Chelsea Hawk, KDWPT boating education coordinator, at[email protected] or (620) 672-0770.