Spring Aboard: GA DNR Law Enforcement encourages boaters to Keep Your Edge this boating season

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

It may not feel like boating season yet, but Georgia Game Wardens, along with boating safety advocates nationwide, are urging boaters to #KeepYourEdge by enrolling in a boating education course this spring.

The GA DNR Law Enforcement Division is participating in the national Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign. The Spring Aboard campaign encourages boaters to get educated prior to the kick-off of the boating season so they can make the most out of their time on the water.

A boating safety course provides critical boating knowledge that anyone who plans to get out on the water should have, and better prepares you for the risks you may face while boating. U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 81% of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

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“Education is the key to having a safe and enjoyable day on the water,” said Director of Law Enforcement, Col. Thomas Barnard. “Even though the operator has the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the vessel, its crew and passengers, everyone who plans to be onboard should consider taking a boating safety course to prepare for their time on the water. 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. Spring is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”

The Division is partnering with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to inform boaters about the benefits and necessity of taking a boating education course. In Georgia, anyone born on or after January 1, 1998 must successfully complete a Georgia DNR-approved boater education course to legally operate a vessel on the state’s waterways.

Discounts and other incentives are being offered nationwide to boaters who enroll in or complete a boating safety course during the week of Spring Aboard, March 17-23, 2019. Boaters are encouraged to take a boating education course if they have never taken one before, or to take a course as a refresher in order to prepare for the boating season ahead. Find out about more available courses by visiting www.springboard.org or www.gadnrle.org/boating-education. With today’s wide variety of courses available, from classroom courses to online offerings, there’s a course for every boater and every schedule.

The annual Spring Aboard campaign is led by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is supported by state, federal and nonprofit partners and is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors, and course providers. For more information, visit www.springaboard.org

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 56 states and the U.S. territories. The association offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 73.5 million American boaters.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division is committed to conserving our natural resources and protecting the people we serve through fair and vigorous law enforcement, quality education, and community involvement.