BOATING EDUCATION COURSE NOW MANDATORY FOR GREATER NUMBER OF YOUNG BOATERS IN LOUISIANA

Release Date: 06/29/2010

Beginning Thursday, July 1, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984, will be required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower in Louisiana. The state law previously required that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988, had to complete a course. The 2009 Legislature approved the new age requirement with July 1, 2010 as the effective date.

For anyone in need of boating safety certification, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering numerous safe boating course opportunities this summer.

The LDWF-offered, NASBLA-approved boating courses are free and available across the state to assist boaters, fishermen and hunters in meeting boating education requirements.  Anyone interested in attending a free course can view a schedule of courses on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.  An online NASBLA approved course is also available for a small fee.

"Studies show that boating education is an important factor in reducing boating crashes and fatalities.  Even experienced boaters can benefit from taking a boating education course," said LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.

A person may operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower in Louisiana without proof of course completion, if accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who, if required, has completed the course.   LDWF reminds boaters to follow the rules of the road, wear a personal flotation device and designate a sober vessel operator to keep Louisiana?s waterways safe for all boaters.  For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

For more information, contact Capt. Rachel Zechenelly at 225-765-2984 or rzechenelly@wlf.la.gov.

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