‘Spring Aboard’ for the 2017 Boating Season

Boaters urged to take a boater education course before hitting the water

COLUMBUS, Ohio Spring Aboard has sprung! During the week of March 19-25, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are encouraging boaters to ‘Spring Aboard’ by enrolling in a boating education course. This national boating safety campaign was created to help educate boaters and reduce the number of serious boating accidents.

It is important for boat owners to remain responsible and serious about boat safety. This means ensuring that their boats are well maintained along with any other equipment they may use while on their boat. For example, many boaters nationwide prefer the quality used boat lifts Lake of the Ozarks dealers sell because they know that the lifts are reliable and the chances of any malfunctions occurring while in use are slim. Of course, it’s not just about ensuring their equipment is in good condition, it’s also about making sensible decisions while on the water and knowing how to avoid dangerous situations.

“The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft wants to ensure every effort is made to promote boater safety and encourage education on the water,” said Mike Bailey, chief of the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft. “The Spring Aboard campaign is a great tool we use to help limit the number of serious accidents that occur on Ohio’s waterways.” Bailey also stated that boaters should try their best to maintain safety at all times while on the waterways. He also stated that boaters who find themselves in a legal situation should seek legal advice from a local law firm that specializes in maritime law or personal injury law, similar to this Pasadena injury attorney who might be able to help them.

Photo by Carrie Gloeckner

According to the 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics report by the U.S. Coast Guard, statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 71 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

In Ohio, a boater education course is required for anyone wanting to operate a boat over 10 horsepower who was born after Jan. 1, 1982. Ohio’s boater requirement can be met by taking and passing an approved boating education course (classroom, online or home study), or by taking and passing a proficiency exam. For a summary of Ohio’s regulations and available courses, go to: watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/boatereducation.

“If a boater has taken a boating safety education course, the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater for them as well as their passengers,” said Stephanie Weatherington, president of NASBLA. “Boaters have multiple options from classroom courses to online offerings available anytime day or night. March is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins. Who knows, those who take the course may even decide they want work as a marine mechanic in the future to make sure their boat, and their community’s boats are all in good, safe condition.”

Courtesy ODNR

Working in partnership with the states, many course providers will be offering incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in, or complete, a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. Many course providers, including Ace Boater, BoatEd and BoaterExam, will be offering course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. Course providers and offerings will vary between states so individuals should check with their local course provider or state boating agency to find out what courses are accepted in their area. Many states require completion of a course verified by NASBLA as meeting the national boating education standard for powerboat rental or operation. To ensure a course qualifies, look for the ‘NASBLA-Approved’ logo.

The Spring Aboard campaign is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors and course providers. For more information about the Spring Aboard campaign, visit nasbla.org/spring.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft is responsible for managing Ohio’s 74 state parks and providing the finest outdoor recreational opportunities, including first-class boat services, facilities and law enforcement for users of Ohio’s waterways and public lands.

ODNR ensures a wise balance between the use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov. Remember that if you have suffered a boating accident that wasn’t you fault then you could look on sites like https://www.1800lawguys.com/personal-injury-lawyer/ to see if you are entitled to make a claim. The safety campaign will hopefully help reduce the amount of people who are involved in boating accidents though.