The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Spring Aboard: FWP encourages boaters to 'Keep Your Edge' this boating season


March 13, 2019

It may not feel like boating season yet, but Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, along with boating safety advocates nationwide, are urging boaters to #KeepYourEdge by enrolling in a boating education course this spring. FWP is participating in the national Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign. The Spring Aboard campaign encourages boaters to get educated prior to the kick-off of the boating season so they can make the most out of their time on the water.

A boating safety course provides critical boating knowledge that anyone who plans to get out on the water should have, and better prepares you for the risks you may face while boating. U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 81 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

FWP is partnering with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to inform boaters about the benefits and necessity of taking a boating education course. Montana law requires youth ages 13 and 14 who plan to operate a motorboat, jet ski or other personal watercraft with 10 horsepower motor or more to have a valid motorboat operator’s safety certificate or be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older.

Discounts and other incentives are being offered nationwide to boaters who enroll in or complete a boating safety course during the week of Spring Aboard, March 17-23. Boaters are encouraged to take a boating safety course if they have never taken one before, or to take a course as a refresher in order to prepare for the boating season ahead. To learn more about available courses, visit or With today’s wide variety of courses available, from classroom courses to online offerings, there’s a course for every boater and every schedule.

The annual Spring Aboard campaign is led by NASBLA and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard For more information, visit

If you have any questions about Montana courses, please contact Sara Smith, boating education coordinator for FWP’s Recreational Boating Safety Program, at 406-444-5280 or


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