Sheriff’s office offers free boating safety course

Published on Thu, Jan 17, 2008 by Tara Nelson

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Sheriff’s office offers free boating safety course

By Tara Nelson

Whatcom County Sheriff’s office marine services unit will offer a boater education course for Washington boaters.

This eight-hour course will provide boaters the basics of safe boating that all recreational boaters should know and was developed specifically for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and is taught by deputies certified by the agency.

The course is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26 and again on the following Saturday at the Marietta Fire Station training room, 752 Marine Drive, Bellingham.

Class size is limited and participants are required to pre-register by January 24 by calling deputy Smith at 360/676-6650 or by emailing Smith at sheriffboatsafety@whatcomcounty.us.

A manual and exam will be provided at the class for a $10 fee.
Beginning January 1, 2008, boat operators ages 12 to 20 years old will be required to carry a boater education card when operating a boat on Washington’s waterways. The law applies to operators of motorboats of 15 horsepower or greater.

The card requirement will be phased in through 2014, when all boaters born on or after January 1, 1955, will be required to have a card.

Boaters born before January 1, 1955, are exempt from this law. Cards cost $10 and are good for a lifetime.

For more information about the class, contact deputy Stuart Smith at 360/676-6650 or email sheriffboatsafety@whatcomcounty.us.
For information on the Mandatory Boating Safety Education Program, visit the Washington state Parks department online at www.parks.wa.gov/boating.