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State Parks stresses boating safety through education
The following is a release from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission:
With rising temperatures and more than one month of summer remaining, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission urges boating enthusiasts to be safe while enjoying the water. Getting a Boater Safety Education Card helps reduce boating-related accidents and fatalities.
Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy boating on Washington’s waterways every year. Unfortunately, Washington has one of the highest boating fatality rates in the nation. Since 2003, there have been 234 boating-related deaths in the state, with 11 so far this year.
“Boating education is critical to boating safety,” said Wade Alonzo, Boating Program manager for Washington State Parks. “The more boaters know, the safer they will be—not only for themselves, but for their fellow boaters as well. That’s why the Boating Program at State Parks focuses its efforts on educating the community about the mandatory boater education law.”
The law requires boaters to carry a boater education card when operating a boat with 15 horsepower or greater on Washington’s waterways. To obtain a card, boaters must successfully complete an approved boating safety course and submit an application to get the card.
This year, boat operators ages 12 to 59 are required to carry a boater education card. The requirement applies to boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1955. Boaters born before Jan. 1, 1955, are exempt from this law. To meet the new education requirements, boaters can take a course online or in a classroom, or they can take the State Parks Adventures in Boating Washington home study course. Cards cost $10 and are good for a lifetime.