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Posted 3/7/2018

Release no. 18-016

Tom Craig, park ranger


JENNINGS RANDOLPH LAKE, Maryland 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% 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 Maryland and West Virginia regulations and available courses, visit: https://www.wvdnr.gov/lenforce/boating.shtm or http://www.dnr.state.md.us/Boating/Pages/default.aspx.

Many providers are offering discounts or other incentives to anyone that takes a boating education course during the week of March 18-24, 2018. BOATsmart! is offering discounts on their boating safety courses and BOATERexam.com and Boat-Ed.com are offering 50% off the price of their courses for the entire week.

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.


baltimore district boating boating education Jennings Randolph Lake National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Spring Aboard U.S. Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Coast Guard USACE water safety