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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Minnesota boaters urged to get educated before season begins

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Just as the “rules of the road” are learned before getting behind the wheel of a car, the same should be done before getting on a boat and taking the helm. 

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that *80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction. Before hitting the water this summer, take a boater’s education course, do it this week for an added incentive.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) along with state, federal and nonprofit partners are encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the 2017 boating season.

During the week of March 19-25, as part of the Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign, Minnesota boaters will receive 50 percent off the cost of the online boating safety education course. Use promo code SPRINGABOARD17 at the completion of the course to receive the discounted cost.

The annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course. The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.

“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water,” said Stephanie Weatherington, NASBLA president. “With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for everyone’s schedule.”

Boaters have multiple options from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings.

“There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing, and March is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins,” Weatherington said.

Minnesota requires anyone ages 12 to 17 years old, unsupervised and operating a boat over 25 horsepower to have a safety certificate. A safety certificate is also needed for anyone ages 14 to 17 and operating a personal watercraft unsupervised. For a summary of Minnesota’s regulations and available courses, visit the boating safety page.

For more information about the Spring Aboard campaign visit the campaign page.

* Where the level of operator education was known.

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