18-021 ‘Spring Aboard’ – Boaters urged to get educated before boating season

Published March 1, 2018
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Natural resource managers and park rangers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District want to remind boaters – the temperature may still be cool outside, but it is a perfect time of year to start getting prepared for the boating season.

Boating safety advocates are urging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the main boating season. “Spring Aboard” – Take A Boating Education Course campaign is a nationally coordinated effort during the week of March 18-24, 2018 to increase the awareness of taking 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.”

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 77 percent 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 schedule. Boaters have multiple options from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons 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.

Forty-nine (49) states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels.

For a summary of Washington, Oregon or Idaho regulations and available courses, visit: https://www.boat-ed.com/washington/, http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/index.aspx or https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/boating, respectively.

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.

Many campaign partners offer discounts or other incentives to anyone who takes a boating education course during March 18-24, 2018. Check out the Spring Aboard website www.springaboard.org for links to partner business and organizations that offer training opportunities and incentives.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 18-021