COLUMBUS, OH – Preparing for the boating season couldn’t be any easier! During the week of March 18-24, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are encouraging boaters to Spring Aboard by enrolling in a boating education course. This national boating safety campaign was created to help educate boaters and reduce the number of serious boating accidents.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, statistics show that when the level of operator education was known, 77 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.
In Ohio, a boater education course is required for anyone wanting to operate a boat over 10 horsepower who was born after Jan. 1, 1982. Ohio’s boater requirement can be met by taking and passing an approved boating education course (classroom, online or home study), or by taking and passing a proficiency exam. For a summary of Ohio’s regulations and available courses, go to: watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/coursesearch.
To kick off the boating season, free classroom courses are being offered around the state on Saturday, March 24:
- CLEVELAND: Cleveland Watercraft Office, 9am-5pm. Call 216-361-1212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
- CINCINNATI: East Fork State Park Classroom, 8am-5pm. Call to register, 513-734-2730. There will be a 1-hour break for lunch.
- SCIOTO COUNTY: ODNR Scioto Field Office, 8am-5pm. Call to register, 740-353-7668.
- TOLEDO: Maumee Bay Trautman Nature Center, 9am-5pm. Call or email to register, 419-836-6003 or email@example.com. Trautman Nature Center is across from the golf course at Maumee Bay State Park. We recommend you pack a lunch.
- CAMBRIDGE: Deerassic Park Education Center, 8:30am-5pm. Call to register, 740-439-4076.
- SANDUSKY: Sandusky Parks and Watercraft Office, 8am-5pm. Call to enroll in advance, 419-621-1402.
- SPRINGFIELD: Buck Creek State Park Office, 8am-5pm. Call to preregister, 937-323-1582.
Working in partnership with the states, many course providers, including Ace Boater, BoatEd and BoaterExam, will be offering course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. Course providers and offerings vary between states so individuals should check with their local course provider or state boating agency to find out which courses are accepted in their area. Ohio requires that completed courses meet the national boating education standards for powerboat rental or operation, as verified by NASBLA. To ensure a course qualifies, look for the NASBLA-approved logo.
The Spring Aboard campaign is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors and course providers. For more information about the Spring Aboard campaign, visit springaboard.org.