Boater Education: Saving Lives

Image by Randall Chancellor

Image by Randall Chancellor



This is Passport to Texas

With more people enjoying Texas lakes and rivers, it’s important for everyone that boaters educate themselves on boating skills and seamanship. In 2011, the Texas legislature updated who must receive this training.

09— Any person born on or after September 1, 1993, must take boater education to operate certain vessels alone on the water.

Boater education coordinator, Tim Spice says, Boater Ed is beneficial for all new boaters because piloting a boat is different than driving a car.

14— The biggest difference new boaters don’t understand are brakes. There are no brakes on a boat; so a boat’s momentum will carry it to a stop. And you cannot change course if you have let off the power.

Boating fatalities in Texas remain constant – about 50 per year – since before mandatory boater education took effect; but Spice says that doesn’t take into account the substantial increase of boaters in the state.

07— The numbers have stayed constant, but the amount of use has gone up. So, you could deduct that people are safer out there on the water.

Spice offers a simple tip for staying safe on the water.

06— What I like to tell people is: the best thing you can do to be safe on the water is very simply just to wear a life jacket.

Find Boater Ed class information on the TPW website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program Supports our series and works to support fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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