Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now is time to sign up for hunter education and boating safety courses

MADISON – Now is the time for young people who are planning on operating power boats this summer, or hunting this fall, to register for courses. During the next few months, a number of boating and hunter education classes are beginning around the state.
Boating safety certificate

A Wisconsin boating safety certification or out of state equivalent certification is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1989 to operate a power boat on Wisconsin waters, says Todd Schaller, safety education program coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

While the certificate is required for these age groups, Schaller encourages people of all ages to take the class and receive a safety education completion certificate.

“The number of recreational boaters using Wisconsin's waterways has grown tremendously over the past decade,” Schaller says. “As our waterways become more crowded and the types of boats using the water become more varied, it is increasingly important for all boaters to become educated on safe boating techniques and laws. Boating safety course graduates can help ensure healthy, happy, and safe voyages for years to come.”

The boating safety course objectives include reducing the potential for boat accidents, injuries and fatalities, reducing the potential for conflict between different types of boating activities and others on the water, and promoting safe, responsible, and ethical use of the environment and our resources.

Participants in the boating safety course learn about:

  • The different types and classifications of boats, hull designs, and motors.
  • Legal requirements including registration and equipment requirements.
  • Navigation rules, basic safety regulations, and waterway marking systems.
  • Getting underway, preparation, loading, boarding, cruising, docking, anchoring, knots, trailering, courtesy, and maintenance.
  • Boat accidents, emergency measures, aquatic safety, alcohol usage, visual distress signals, fire on board, and first aid.

Schaller also notes that Wisconsin now offers an online boating safety course [] for people who are not able to attend one of the schedule courses. Children 14 years of age or younger are encouraged to take a classroom course, offering a more hands-on learning environment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Schaller (boating safety)- (608) 267-2774 or Tim Lawhern (hunter education) - (608) 266-1317

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