BATON ROUGE: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season.
LDWF will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard-Take a Boating Education Course campaign by providing seven free boating education courses across the state from March 19-25.
Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course. The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.
“We are excited to be a part of the Spring Aboard initiative and are always looking for ways to get the public involved in one of our free safe boating courses,” said Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, Louisiana’s state boating law administrator. “We feel that safe boating course offers something for any skill level on the water and encourage everyone that boats to take one.”
Boating education courses are mandatory for anyone in Louisiana born after Jan. 1, 1984 who operates a motorboat over 10 horsepower. To register for an LDWF boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.
LDWF implemented Louisiana’s safe boating education program in 2003 and since that time have certified over 99,000 boaters.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where 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.