In an effort to make recreational boating more pleasurable and safe, it became mandatory in 2010 for all Oregon Boaters 12-15 years of age to possess a boater education card when operating power boats greater than 10 horsepower. This law went into effect in 1999 and was implemented in phases over the following decade. Youth must possess a mandatory education card and must also be supervised by a card-holding adult when operating a boat with more than 10 horsepower.
To qualify for a boater education card a person must show they have successfully completed an approved education course. Most people today are taking the approved course via the internet at www.boatoregon.com. Courses are also available through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, or your Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol.
It is a proven fact this program has reduced the number of boating related crashes. The Oregon State Marine Board reported that in 2010, Oregon had 64 reported recreational boating crashes resulting in 12 fatalities. This is one less boating crash and death than reported in 2009; however there were still nine reported boating deaths in 2011.
An interesting fact is that the number of registered boats in Oregon has declined from 197,591 in 2003 to 171,983 in 2011. The significance of this decline is that the Oregon State Marine Board is funded largely by boating license fees and that funding pays for safety and enforcement of the boating laws.
The education program will now focus on the new boaters in Oregon. Young boaters, people just getting into boating and new boaters moving into the state will be the most common customer to the program. If you have children interested in boating, encourage them to visit the Oregon State Marine Board web site or pick a Boat Oregon booklet and prepare them for the course.
More important information about boating in Oregon will follow as we get closer to the busy time of the year. Remember boat safely and wear your life jackets.
For more tips and other information, visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.Share on Facebook