There are thirty states that require boaters of a certain age to take a boating safety course before they are allowed to drive a boat or watercraft; Washington is one of these states.
However, there are exceptions to the law, including:
- Persons licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel.
- Persons operating on a private lake or pond.
- Persons accompanied in a vessel by a person exempt.
- Persons who are nonresidents and have proof of completion of a NASBLA approved course from another state and are visiting the state for 60 days or less in an out-of-state boat.
Before your 16-year-old daughter complains that she wants to take the boat out with her friends, make sure she takes the boating education course and carries her card with her.
Boating accidents can be fatal and very serious, just as car accidents are. Make sure your son or daughter takes the appropriate steps to prevent boating accidents.
Click here to read about boating accident prevention.