FWC Encourages Boaters to “Spring Aboard”, Take a Boater Education Course

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Spring has arrived and that means many residents and visitors will be flocking to Florida’s beautiful beaches and waterways. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants boaters to “jump on board” and be educated before the boating season begins to get the most out of their time on the water. Spring is the perfect time to take a boating safety course before the summer boating season begins.

In 2021, Florida boating accident statistics indicated that 83% of boating fatalities occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating training. Education is the key to having a safe and enjoyable day on the water.

Although not currently required, owners of human-powered watercraft, such as paddle boards and kayaks, are also encouraged to take a boating course so that they are aware of essential boating knowledge. navigation that anyone considering getting out on the water should have and be. better prepared for the risks they might face while sailing.

“In Florida, boaters born on or after January 1, 1988 are required to take and pass a boater safety training course. But anyone interested in boating should take a course,” said Major Rob Beaton, FWC Boating and Waterways Section Chief. “Taking a boating course is one of the best things you can do to prevent accidents on the water.”

Boaters have many ways to train, from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available any time of day or night. Learn more about boater safety training by visiting MyFWC.com/boating and by clicking on “Boating safety and education”.

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