The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Boating Program wants boaters to be prepared for the upcoming season by taking a safety education course.
During the National Spring Aboard campaign, March 17 through 23, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) along with state, federal and nonprofit partners are coordinating efforts that aim to get boaters educated in boating safety before boating season begins.
Why be certified in boating safety? For many boaters, it’s the law. In Washington state, boaters who operate a vessel with a 15-horsepower engine — or greater — must be certified and carry a Boater Education Card to prove they passed an accredited boating safety education course.
How do boaters get certified? Generally, boaters have three options:
An instructor-led course
An online self-study
A home study and equivalency exam (recommended only for boaters who already have a lot of boating experience)
How do boaters obtain a Boater Education Card? After completing and passing a state-approved boating safety course or equivalency exam, students must apply for a Boater Education Card with their proof of certification. Many online course providers will complete this step and charge a third-party fee. More information about courses and the boater education card can be found at www.boatered.org