Until now, the only option for Maryland boaters wanting to take a required boating safety course was to pay for one out of their own pocket. However, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources now offers Maryland boat owners a free option with the availability of the no-cost BoatUS Foundation Online Boating Safety Course. The BoatUS course fully meets the state’s education requirements for boaters and PWC operators born on or after July 1, 1972, and also approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the US Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.
“Our goal is to make boating safety education as accessible as possible to as many boaters possible,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. “By making Maryland’s course free, it removes the last possible barrier towards ensuring everyone’s safety. And because you can work on it as you go, it fits in with today’s busy schedules.”
The course is loaded with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating. Videos show important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a child’s life jacket.
Passing the course could earn a discount on a boat’s insurance policy. Boaters who successfully pass the BoatUS Foundation online course can print their own Certificate of Completion which will have a “NASBLA” logo on it. This Certificate must be kept within a boater’s possession when boating as proof of completion.
Image courtesy Jim Kirby/ BoatUS