This is Passport to Texas
A boom in water recreation and accidents prompted passage of a new state law requiring mandatory boater education.
17—What that means is, if you were born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, you will be required to take boater education to operate a boat or a vessel over 15 HP, and a windblown vessel like a sailboat over 14 feet.
Tim Spice manages the boater education program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Previously, only 13- to 17-year olds had to complete a boating safety course to operate a vessel, such as personal watercraft, without adult supervision.
18—Now to operate a personal watercraft, if you are under 13 you have to have someone 18 years of age or older on board, and they have to be able to legally operate themselves. Used to be you could go out there with someone under 18 if they were certified. But that’s changed also.
Texas’ state-approved boater education course is available online.
16—You can get on there. Take the class. Take the test. And then receive a temporary certification and you can go right out. We have courses offered by volunteers, employees. We list those courses as they’re offered, so you can come to our website if you prefer having an instructor help you out.
The new mandatory boater education law is currently in effect. Tomorrow: What happens if you’re caught without certification.
The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.