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OK, here is a very controversial topic and I really need some comment here. The theory is that an "approved" Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, etc, class will, in the long run, reduce injuries and fatalities on the water. Out here in the Northwest, Oregon recently did this. The classes usually cost very little, mostly for the course materials and none for the instructors.
Another variation is online courses, Boat/US has one that is fairly comprehensive. Is this a good substitute to the classroom type class?
Folks I am against any form of mandatory training, licencing, or any other conditional use of the waterways bays rivers or lakes. If it's mandatory it means that if you don't take the course you can't use the water. Are we really willing to give our rights to use the Oceans and bays to the government? The burocaracy in effect is saying that it is a privaliege to go out on the water in a boat when it has always been our right. All of this has come about since the advent of wave runners and they are using the higher accident rates on these craft as an excuse to protect us from our ignorance. A boater that slams a boat at high or low speed into another injuring or killing people should be punished fairly and justly. The innocent person who wants to use his boat and teaches himself the rules of the road etc, should not be kept from it by licencing or any other means designed to eventually generate money for our Government. Licencing laws like this if mandatory are an invasion of our rights. I have been messing around on boats for sixty years I see this a threat. I see no reason for any one to help by setting up on line classes or any other kind to ease the burden on an intrusive government. [dawgone no spell checker] Douglas Pollard
Yes, the fact that practicing Boating Safety is not as pervasive in the Marine Industry as it once was is a growing concern... The fact that states like Florida, that have a huge boating population had to turn to manditory Boating Safety Courses due to the frequency of accidents on the water, is further evidence that 'its only a matter of time' before WA (and other states) 'enjoys' similar requirments. Oregon is not alone, Mississippi (Ohio?) has mandatory Boating Safety Instrucion and the Insurance Industry has a Boating Lobby in just about every state...
As to how one might comply with their states Safety Courses: On Line, in the Class Room, Lecture Series, course taught at the Boat Dealer... Any and all venues should be available, the 'schooling' should be a friendly learning situation...
In my bacground I acquired the Boy Scouts Boating Merit Badge series, learning skills in Rowing and Sailng along with in the water safety training from a capsised canoe! Then onto the Sea Scouts for a couple of years...An awful lot of folks get into boating by attending a boat show, then purchase something that has the attributes of their car: steering wheel, throttle, tachometer, with speed to burn...and a bit lax on common sense while on the water... On the other had, many new small boat operators: kayakers, row boaters, paddle boaters, sail boaters have a bit more time to gain 'safe water boating skills' as their craft move at nature's speed.
Non the less, all boaters are welcome to the water and SBF is here providing a place to 'air' your opinions! Anybody else have an opine on this Boat Safety 'thang'...???
Hi Capt, Just another little note to comment on Florida,s licencing. I lived in Fort Lauderdale on a sailboat about 10 years off and on. Florida has a bad problem with licencing. It came out in the newspaper and was confirmed by some citizens comitte that south Floridians have so little regard for the law that over 50% of the driving population in South Florida has no valid drivers licence. I live in Virginia and can't imagine such a thing here. How in the heck do they expect to keep people off the water that don't have a licence? Again, sorry about the spelling just can't get the hang of it.
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