Learn about boat safety, equipment, and regulations, and earn a state boating safety certificate at the Boat America Class on Responsible Boating from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday at the Pine Ridge Community Center (15660 Pine Ridge Road in Ft. Myers).
The program is offered every third Saturday of the month. Register online HERE
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report, which is the most recent available, there were 52 boating accidents in Lee County, Florida in 2020. These accidents resulted in 3 fatalities and 36 injuries. Failing to adhere to the Navigation Rules or the nautical “Rules of the Road,” consuming alcohol or drugs while operating a boat, and choosing not to wear a life jacket are all instances of human error and poor decision-making that can increase the risk of accidents.
For anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who will be operating a boat in Florida waters with an engine of ten (10) horsepower or more, the law requires them to complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Florida Boating Safety ID Card. This card is not a boating license, it is a certification that the person named on the card has completed the required boating safety course.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has a team of expert presenters who provide valuable insights and relate the course material to our local area. Greg Masonick, Flotilla Commander of Fort Myers Beach Flotilla 91, emphasizes the significance of education and awareness of boating hazards for safe boating. “Attending in-person classes is an excellent opportunity for students to interact, share perspectives, and gain local knowledge. Participants learn about the importance of life jackets, risk reduction, preparedness, and exercising sound judgment.” The one-day class is priced at $45 per person, which includes study materials, and advanced registration is mandatory. The class is tailored to fit conveniently into almost everyone’s busy schedule.
There are many reputable boating safety classes available, and the best one to take depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some factors to consider when selecting a boating safety class might include the course content, the instructor’s qualifications and experience, the cost, and the class format (online, in-person, or a combination of both). Ultimately, the best boating safety class for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider researching different classes and speaking with instructors to determine which one is the best fit for you.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the lead agency protecting America’s seaward frontier in recreational boating safety. Our vessels and aircraft deploy across the U.S. they aid or save countless boaters every year. Every day the auxiliary saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and saves countless lives.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, please visit www.cgaux.org