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April 21, 2015

MADISON -- During the week of April 20-26, 2015, the Department of Natural Resources encourages boaters to Spring Aboard by enrolling in a boating education course. Online boat safety education course providers will offer incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the Spring Aboard campaign.

"An informed and knowledgeable boat operator is much more likely to recognize hazardous conditions on the water and avoid a boating mishap," said Roy Zellmer, Wisconsin's boating law administrator. "Classroom courses are offered through local boating safety organizations, such as the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons. Online courses are available 24/7 and provide state-specific boating education information. Completion of a course increases your chances for having fun on the water."

Forty-nine states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. For a summary of Wisconsin's regulations and available courses, search the DNR website,, for "boat safety."

"The Spring Aboard campaign is a unified effort to remind boaters to complete the course now, prior to or during spring break, in preparation for the boating season," Zellmer said. "With today's wide variety of courses available, there's a course for everyone's schedule!"

2013 U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that, when the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction. Many states require completion of a course verified by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators as meeting the national boating education standard for powerboat rental or operation. To ensure your course qualifies, look for the 'NASBLA-Approved' logo.

For more information see the NASBLA "Spring Aboard" (exit DNR) campaign website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Penny Kanable, 608-228-9352

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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