Boating course clearly impacts water safety

For nearly two decades the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has provided a Florida Boater Education ID test that can be taken online or at home and mailed in.

The 75-question certification exam is required for those born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, in order to operate a vessel on the water.

“We buy the test from a course provider and it meets the standards established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators,” said Brian Rehwinkel, the Boating Safety Outreach Coordinator with the FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “We also review it to make sure it has correct Florida specific boating information.”

The education requirements for operating a boat are reviewed every three years, with standards often being updated. The FWC will upgrade information as well at that time.

“It’s definitely not a static test,” Rehwinkel said. “If we see trends in boating safety, we definitely upgrade the information.”

There is no minimum age for operating a boat in Florida. It’s up to parents to decide when their child is ready to assume that responsibility. The test, though, is often taken by younger children.

Read the full article in the June 9 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe online to your community newspaper.

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