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March 18, 2017

Marine Division / Spring Aboard Campaign




Boaters urged to become educated before boating season


Williston VT / March 18, 2017 – The Vermont State Police Marine Division and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and state, federal and nonprofit partners encourage boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season. Beginning tomorrow, March 19th and running through Saturday, March 25th , as part of the Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign, many course providers are offering discounts or other incentives for students who enroll or complete a boating safety education course.


Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course. The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.


U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80% of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.  In Vermont, there were 11 boating deaths between 2006 and 2016.


“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water. If a boater has taken a boating safety education course the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater for them as well as their passengers,” said Stephanie Weatherington, President of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for everyone’s schedule. Boaters have multiple options from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing, and March is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”


Forty-nine (49) states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. Visit for a link to the boating safety online education course.


Working in partnership with the states, many course providers will be offering incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in, or complete, a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. Course providers and offerings will vary between states, so check with your local course provider or to find out what courses are accepted in your area. Many states require completion of a course verified by NASBLA as meeting the national boating education standard for powerboat rental or operation. To ensure a course qualifies, look for the ‘NASBLA-Approved’ logo.


For more information about participation in Vermont, please contact Sergeant Trevor Carbo at the Williston Field Station, at 802-878-7111 ext 2207, or .


For more information about the Spring Aboard campaign visit



The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The association offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 73.5 million American boaters.




Scott Waterman

Vermont State Police Public Information Officer

802-241-5277 desk

802-279-4554 cell