It may not feel like boating season yet, but the Vermont State Police, along with boating safety advocates nationwide, are urging boaters to #KeepYourEdge by enrolling in a boating education course this spring. The Vermont State Police 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 might 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 operator had never received boating education instruction.

“Education is the key to having a safe and enjoyable day on the water,” said Sgt. Trevor Carbo with the Vermont State Police Marine Division. “Even though the operator has the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the vessel, its crew and passengers, everyone who plans to be on board 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 Vermont State Police 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 Vermont, all persons born after Jan. 1, 1974, must complete an approved boating safety education course successfully to operate any motorized vessel legally (this includes personal watercraft or PWC).

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 https://vsp.vermont.gov/auxiliary/marine With today’s wide variety of courses available, from classroom courses to online offerings, there’s a course for every boater and every schedule.

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