MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding Michiganders of boater safety certification as the warm weather starts to make an appearance.
The reminder comes during the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign.
According to the DNR, many states requires completion of a NASBLA-verified course in order to rent or operate a powerboat.
In Michigan, boaters born after January 30, 1996 must have a boating safety certificate to operate a boat.
Boaters born after December 31, 1978 need a boating safety certificate to operate a personal watercraft.
“If you’re on the water operating a boat, or even a canoe or kayak, it’s your responsibility to do so safely,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “We strongly encourage new boaters to take a boater safety course, so they are aware of the do’s and don’ts of the water. Even if you have been on the water for years, it’s important to refresh yourself on the latest regulations.”
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2017 there were 4,291 recreational boating-related accidents that resulted in 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars in property damage.
The USCG said operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
The DNR offers boating safety education as a self-paced, online course and as a traditional classroom experience.
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