If you have never taken a boating safety course, or even if it has just been awhile, make this the year you take one! Anyone who operates a water vessel can benefit from these classes. Boating safety classes are usually free of charge, and not only help you to make sure that your boat driving practices are safe and courteous, but help you learn how to deal with dangerous situations caused by nature or other circumstances. Having fun on the water means being safe!
Boating injuries and fatalities are often preventable. Don’t become a statistic this summer. According to the Coast Guard’s latest available statistics, 750 boaters died in 2002. Eighty-five percent of those who drowned were not wearing their life jackets, even though in many cases, life jackets were aboard. Seventy percent of recreational boating accidents are caused by factors that are controlled by the boat’s operator—such as failure to pay attention, carelessness, recklessness, inexperience, excessive speed, and failure to watch for hazards. Learn how to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities while boating. Review safety tips, news, recalls, defects, and laws and regulations you should know. If you are ready to introduce the kids to the fun of driving a PWC or other watercraft, they must complete the course before piloting alone!
If you think you don’t have time to take a Boating Safety course, think again. Boating safety courses are available, inexpensive, and quick—a great way for you to learn safety and the rules of the road. Many states now allow you to take the course online. For example, the Basic Boating Safety Certification Course online course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. Successful completion of this course may qualify you for marine insurance discounts and meets many states’ mandatory boating education requirements. Check to see if your state is one of them!
Please make a note to observe National Safe Boating Week May 22 -28, 2004. This campaign is being sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council. Hopefully 2004 will be the year that we see a decrease in water vessel accidents, injuries and fatalities.