The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Office of Boating Safety and Education joins the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators to encourage boaters to Spring Aboard, a March 18-24 nationwide campaign to prepare for boating season by enrolling in a boating safety course.

Under Delaware law, all persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1978, must successfully complete a boating safety course in order to operate a boat or personal watercraft in Delaware waters. Boaters must carry their boating safety card with them at all times while operating a vessel as proof of the required course completion.

A variety of courses are available to fit every boater’s schedule, from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night.

During Spring Aboard, education providers that offer Delaware-approved online boating safety courses do so at a discounted price or offer other incentives. Delaware’s Office of Boating Safety and Education also provides volunteer instructors for private and nonprofit organizations, schools, clubs and the general public to educate boaters on skills and seamanship.

Delaware’s course covers the rules and regulations for the state’s waterways, including appropriate speed limits, responsible boating skills and awareness and how to distinguish navigational aids and water depths. Also covered are weather tips, information about basic engine mechanics and required and/or recommended safety equipment, what to do if a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer stops your vessel and the dangers of boating under the influence.

For more, visit bit.ly/2a8ONMs and springaboard.org, call 739-9913 or email brooke.africa@state.de.us.