DOVER DELAWARE – DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Office of Boating Safety and Education joins the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to encourage boaters to “Spring Aboard,” now through the March 24 nationwide campaign to prepare for boating season by enrolling in a boating safety course.
Under Delaware law, all persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 must successfully complete a boating safety course in order to operate a boat or personal watercraft in Delaware waters. Boaters must carry their boating safety card with them at all times while operating a vessel as proof of the required course completion.
A wide variety of courses are available to fit every boater’s schedule, from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night. During “Spring Aboard,” several education providers that offer Delaware-approved online boating safety courses do so at a discounted price or offer other incentives. Delaware’s Office of Boating Safety andEducation also provides volunteer instructors for private and non-profit organizations, schools, clubs, and the general public to educate boaters on skills and seamanship.
Delaware’s course covers the rules and regulations for the state’s waterways, including appropriate speed limits, responsible boating skills and awareness, and how to distinguish navigational aids and water depths. Also covered are weather tips, information about basic engine mechanics and required and/or recommended safety equipment, what to do if a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer stops your vessel, and the dangers of boating under the influence.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of accidents where the level of operator education was known, 77 percent of boating-related deaths occurred on boats where the operator had never received boating education instruction. Forty-nine states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels.
NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety, and represents recreational boating authorities in all 50 states and the U.S. territories, including Delaware. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers, and volunteers, NASBLA serves more than 73.5 million American boaters.
For more information, including Delaware’s boating safety course schedule and access to the online Delaware Boating Handbook, please click Delaware Boating Safety, www.springaboard.org, or contact Sgt. Brooke Africa at 302-739-9913 or email email@example.com.