The good news is that boating fatalities actually went down 13 percent from the previous year. But there are protocols for safe and responsible boating, starting with proper training.
Operator inexperience is one of the leading factors of boating accidents, causing 51 fatalities last year. Look for a training course that’s recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and approved by National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
There are plenty of online safety courses out there, but I say nothing compares with getting hands-on experience in the open water. So look into programs like the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s boating skills course, or US Powerboating’s on-the-water training courses.
And if you’re really serious, you can even look into getting a captain’s certificate. That includes testing on rules of the road, chart navigation, and safety.
Even if you’re not planning on opening your own charter company, it’s still a great way to build on your boating education as an enthusiast.
For more information, visit the boating archives.
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