A virtual flotilla of Ohio boaters, measuring in the thousands, is coming of age this boating season and must be certified to operate any powerboat greater than 10 horsepower on state waterways, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.
Ohioans turning 29 years old this year and those who are younger are required to comply with a mandatory boater education law that has been in effect since January 1, 2000. The law requires all boaters born on or after January 1, 1982 to show proof they have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course if they operate any powered watercraft greater than 10 horsepower on a state waterway.
The law includes those who operate personal watercraft, rental powercraft and persons 18 years of age and older who supervise youth powerboat operators.
Last year, the Division of Watercraft issued a record 14,279 boating safety education cards certifying the successful completion of a classroom, online or home study course of instruction approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Among this record total were 10,864 Ohioans, or 76 percent, who were required by the mandatory boater education law to attain their boating safety education cards.
As a result of Ohio’s boater education law, along with improved boating equipment designs, marine law enforcement, education and public awareness programs, the number of boating-related deaths in Ohio has declined 26 percent during the period of 2001-2010 compared to the previous decade of 1991-2000.
To comply with the Ohio boater education law go to BoatingBasicsOnline and choose Ohio from the drop down list.