Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Its That Time of Year - Ed Huntsman

Have You Completed Your NASBLA Approved State Boater Education Course

Series: Boating Safety | Story 34

Publishers Note: We realize that we ran this story in our April issue. We feel that it is a timely and important message. Thank you Ed.

Have you completed your National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved state boater education course yet? If you're a California resident, effective January 1st, 2024 a NASBLA approved California course is required for any California resident age 60 and under. The course is available online, in a classroom or through home study. More information regarding the California approved courses can be found at https://californiaboatercard.com/courses/

Your State Required

Arizona doesn't require a course for residents. But if you're visiting from another state or boating on the Colorado River and reside outside of Arizona you will be expected to have a NASBLA approved boating education card from your home state or meet whatever requirement your home state requires. So even though Arizona still has no boater education requirement for residents, those from out of state will be required to meet the requirements of their home state. So if you're from California and you're on your watercraft on the Arizona side of the River should officer friendly board you for whatever reason and you haven't complied with California's education requirement get ready to press hard on the citation you'll receive!

So why are these courses necessary in almost every state and territory besides Arizona? Boaters are exposed to, and learn the very basics of recreational boating laws and other valuable information in a short, six to eight hour classroom or online course.

Course Includes

Details regarding the direction boaters should be operating their craft on the lake, what all those different buoys and other informational markers mean, when navigation lights should be energized and under what conditions, the basic rules of the road (Navigation Rules) among many other topics.

How to avoid common mistakes and how to handle varying weather conditions are also key to keeping a good day on the water good. And one of the single most important safety information subjects is learning about different kinds of life jackets and which design you should wear when, depending on the type of boating you do. For example, if you paddle most of the time you'll likely find an inherently buoyant life jacket for appropriate that an inflatable as you're likely to get wet because of falling out of your canoe, kayak or off of your paddle board. If you'll be out in the sun all day on a relatively protected lake fishing on your open bass-boat you're likely to find an inflatable waist pack more comfortable.

More Intense Course

If you're up to date on all the state required education and are looking for something more informational, intense and hands-on you may want to consider taking a US Sailing / World Sailing certified International Safety at Sea Course. But be ready to spend one of the two days of this course in the water for a while. You'll be learning how to use personal safety gear, stay warm in the water, how to be more easily seen from a rescue aircraft and how to enter a life raft in this course designed especially for off-shore cruisers and racers. Learning about topics including how to use flares and smoke signals, putting out fires, basic first-aid, sea sickness treatments, damage repair, crew overboard, emergency communications, providing assistance to others to how to meet the Coast Guard or other rescue services half way as well as more.

Robust Training

Described by many as the most robust training they've had the opportunity to participate in, you will have reduced your statistical probability of being the victim of an accident or other maritime casualty by at least some 70-80 percent. And your insurance agent will likely give you a break on your boat premium when you provide them a copy of your completion certificate. With the course is not NASBLA approved, it is a requirement for 70% of the crew on board any sailboat competing in a US Sailing or World Sailing sanctioned race. And the cruisers, both power and sail, find it rewarding as well.

You can find out more about the International Safety at Sea and other courses at https://www.ussailing.org/education/adult/safety-at-sea-courses

Don't Be A Statistic

Don't become a statistic this boating season. Take a class, learn what you didn't know and keep a good day on the water good! Questions? Check out http://www.azboatcaptains.com


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