Boater safety to be discussed in North Platte

Boating season is a ways away, but it's never too early to take a boater safety course. Nebraska Boating Law Administrator Scott Eveland says classes are offered throughout the state.

"Well we have classes scheduled all over the state, in the Tri Ciy area in Grand Island, and Hastings, and Kearney, and North Platte, Ogallala, a lot of the major population centers. But we try to get them into our smaller towns as well. Maybe not as frequently, but we try to get them offered all across the area so people can get an opportunity to find one close to them."

Nebraska Game and Parks is offering a course in North Platte on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. To register, and to find a complete list of courses, visit boatsafenebraska.org.

Eveland says those born in 1986 or after are required to take a course.

"Nebraska law requires anybody born after December 31, 1985 to complete a boating safety course before they operate any motorboat, which includes personal watercraft, WaveRunners, and the like. So age 14 is the minimum to operate a motorboat. And then born after 1985 you do need to take the class before you can legally operate it in Nebraska. And even if you're not in that age group required to take it, it's still a great idea to learn some ways to be safe, and a lot of times it gets boat owners a discount on their insurance even if they're not required to have it."

Eveland says even experienced boaters have completed a course, which covers boat preparation, legal requirements, navigation rules, and what to do in an emergency.

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