OHP Offers Free Boating Safety Class

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be conducting a free "Boat Oklahoma" boating safety class on Saturday. March 28. 2009, at the Indian Capital Tech located in Muskogee. Oklahoma. The 6-hour class will begin at 9:00 a.m. Anyone I I years of age or older can attend the class. A parent or guardian should attend with their child as there is a one-hour break for lunch. Seating is limited and pre-registration is recommended, Pre-register by calling Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop W at 1-877-253-2820.

The "Boat Oklahoma" course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and includes information on navigation rules, state boating laws, safe vessel operation, equipment requirements, boating courtesy and other boating safety topics. A multiple-choice examination is given at the end of the course. Those passing the exam will be issued a card as proof of course completion.

As of January l, 2007, Oklahorna state law requires everyone between I2 and l6 years of age to complete a NASBLA-approved boating safety course before operating any boat powered by a motor in excess of 10 horsepower or any sailboat 16 feet in length or greater. Many insurance companies offer discounts to boat owners that complete the course.

According to OHP Trooper Mike Sherman, all but five (5) U. S. states require some form of education prior to operating a boat. "Boater education requirements vary from state to state. Anyone planning on boating in another state should check with NASBLA online at www. nasbla.org or contact that state's boating safety agency to see what requirements apply there. Boat owners should encourage all family members and friends, regardless of age, that operate their personal watercraft or boat to attend a 'Boat Oklahoma' class" said Trooper Sherman. Additional information and a complete statewide schedule can be found online at: http://www.okboated.com