Boater Education Required for Ohioans Born After 1981:

Article Posted: March 15, 2012

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For Immediate Release
March 13, 2012

Boater Education Required
for Ohioans Born After 1981

COLUMBUS, OH – The mild winter and lack of frozen waterways has produced a rare sight for Ohio in mid-March – fishermen in boats chasing walleyes on Lake Erie. Even with the traditional start to the summer boating season (Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28) more than two months away, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Watercraft and its boating partners are already busy providing boating education courses to thousands of Ohioans.

Ohio law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to show proof they have successfully completed an approved boater safety education course before operating any powered watercraft greater than 10 horsepower. More than 12,000 Ohioans annually complete an approved boating safety education course.

“Educated boaters are safer boaters and statistics show recreational boating deaths have declined since Ohio enacted its mandatory boater education law,” said Rodger Norcross, chief of ODNR’s Division of Watercraft.

The Division of Watercraft and its boating partners, including U.S. Power Squadrons, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other local community organizations, together are offering more than 80 approved boating safety education classes through the end of May, with more classes being offered during the summer months.

Boating safety officials say the time to take a boating safety education course is before the summer boating season begins. Having the knowledge, proper skills, following basic safety tips such as wearing a life jacket while boating and obeying all boating rules goes far in ensuring boaters and fishermen stay safe on the water.

For a list of available boating safety education classes in Ohio and to register for a class, visit the Division of Watercraft’s website at or call toll-free in Ohio at 877-4BOATER.

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