Department of Fish and Wildlife
“Spring Aboard” campaign encourages boater education courses

Press Release Date:  Monday, April 20, 2015  
Contact Information:  Zac Campbell
1-800-858-1549, ext. 4509

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators along with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources encourages boaters to “Spring Aboard” by enrolling in a boating education course April 20-26. 

Boaters who take Kentucky’s online courses during this week will receive a discount.

Working in partnership with states, many course providers will offer incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. 

“An informed and knowledgeable boat operator is much more likely to recognize hazardous conditions on the water and avoid a boating mishap,” said National Association of State Boating Law Administrators President Eleanor Mariani.

“Classroom courses are offered through local boating safety organizations, such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons,” she said. “Online courses are available 24/7 and provide state-specific information needed for your boating location. Completion of a course increases your chances for having fun on the water.”

Forty-nine states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels.

In Kentucky, a person 12-17 years old must have a safe boating card or have successfully completed an approved boater education course. For a summary of Kentucky’s regulations and available courses, visit online and click onto the “boating” tab.

Boaters are also reminded that a person must be at least 12 years old to operate a boat or watercraft over 10 horsepower on public waters. Boaters under 12 must wear a lifejacket while in the open portion of a boat that is underway.

“The Spring Aboard campaign is a unified effort to remind boaters to complete the course now, prior to or during spring break, in preparation for the boating season,” said Mariani. “With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for everyone’s schedule.”

Many course providers are offering discounts or other incentives for students who enroll or complete the course during April 20-26.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics from 2013 indicate that, when the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.