U.S. Coast Guard offering online boater education courses


The U.S. Coast Guard is offering the opportunity this spring to obtain a Washington state Boater Education Card through online courses. All Washington state residents over the age of 12 or born after January 1, 1955 – under 67 – must have the card while operating a boat of 15 horsepower or greater.

People who complete the course will receive a certificate which will allow them to obtain their boater education card through a separate application issued by the Washington state Parks and Recreation Commission. The course is broken down into two-hour sessions over four days and will be over Zoom. 

The courses will be held April 11-14, May 9-12 and June 6-9. All classes run 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There will be a test at the end of the four sessions. Each 8-hour class is presented in four consecutive evenings and students must attend all four evenings to be eligible for the exam. 

Topics include:

Introduction to Boating – Types of power boats, boating vocabulary, sailboats, paddle boats, powering boats, and the various types of engines.

Boating Law – Boat registration, regulations, hull identification numbers, required safety equipment, Federal boating law, state boating law, and reporting accidents.

Safety Equipment – Life jackets, fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices, visual distress signals, anchors, and other safety equipment.

Safe Operation and Navigation – Buoys and beacons, aids to navigation, navigation rules, docking, and the dangers of alcohol on the water.

Boating Emergencies – Hypothermia, boating accidents, man overboard, capsizing, emergency radio calls, carbon monoxide dangers, and weather.

Trailering – Types of trailers, lights, hitches, towing a trailer.

Sports and Boating – Water-skiing, hunting and hunting gear, PWC operation, and other boating tips.

Course participants can pay $20 to register and receive a digital course book for $5, or $30 to cover registration and a printed book.

To register, visit bit.ly/3quUb0q. Email boatingsafetyWA@gmail.com for questions and concerns.


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