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boating safety check by Tim Donovan FWC

Learn Boating Safety in Hudson, Florida

By Guest Author Posted on January 31, 2022

It’s cold outside! Unless you are a crazy boater it may be a bit too cool for a pleasant day on the water.

Three-to-five-foot waves and 25 mile per hour northeast winds don’t make for a fun day in a boat. If you can’t go out, why not spend a Saturday taking a class to earn the FWC required Boating Safety Education Card?

This card is required for anyone operating a boat in Florida waters who was born after January 1, 1988 – but it is a great idea for all ages.

Maybe you have been boating since you were 12, but do you know everything there is to know about boating, navigation, or state and federal law? What does “Red, Right, Return” mean? Can you read a marine chart? Fire extinguisher regulations have changed. Do you know the most recent ones?

Boating Safety Education course now Available in Hudson

In 2020, the state of Florida had the highest number of registered recreational boating vessels of any state in the U.S. with almost 959,000. 

In that same year, officials counted a total of 836 Florida boating accident cases causing 79 deaths (including 5 missing persons presumed dead) and 534 injuries. The rate of injuries was 54 for every 100,000 registered boaters (of which there are 985,000 statewide). That’s a lot of people getting hurt doing something that should be fun.

To help avoid accidents and injuries on the water, recreational boaters can learn the rules of the waterways at Hudson Flotilla 11 during one of their Saturday classes.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary offers the most up to date, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved Boat America Safe Boating class. In this area, a class can be found by going online to https://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=070-02&category=1335754221

The class covers topics like:

  • Required Safety Equipment- life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares
  • Navigation Rules
  • Federal Regulations
  • Finding Your Way
  • Tides and Shallows
  • Communications Afloat
  • Trailering
  • Knots and Lines

Hudson Flotilla 11-7 is one of the USCG Auxiliary Flotillas that offers this class. It is a one-day, face-to-face class delivered by experienced instructors on a Saturday. The cost per person is $35 which includes the class, a manual, a digital library, and processing with the state. Successful completion qualifies the attendee for a state Boating Education card.

Get your Boat Checked for Safety by the Coast Guard Auxiliary

While your boat is waiting for warm weather the Coast Guard Auxiliary can also perform a vessel safety check to make sure that you have the required equipment and that it is in good working order.

They check the navigation lights, flares, life jackets, and look to make sure that you have the necessary paperwork. The safety check can be performed wherever you keep your boat. The last step is to affix a sticker that tells your insurance agent and law enforcement that you are safe and ready to go for that day on the water.

To register for a Boating Safety class or to schedule email Hudson Flotilla 11-7 USCG Auxiliary at [email protected] or register online through Eventbrite.

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