The Grant County Sheriff’s Office will host a Washington State Boater Education course on Saturday April 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grant County Public Works Facility, 124 Enterprise St. SE, Ephrata. Anyone wishing to attend should register with the Sheriff’s Office at 509-754-2011 ext. 468. Space is limited to 45 students. There is no cost for the course.
Washington State adopted legislation which requires operators of vessels equipped with motors of 15 horsepower and greater to complete a boater education course and test. The requirement is being phased in based on a person’s age. Younger people were required to have completed the course first.
For 2013, vessel operators age 50 and younger are required to complete the course. 2014 will be the final year of implementation with the education course then being required for all persons who were born after 1954. Persons born in 1954 and earlier are exempt from the boater education requirement. Law enforcement agencies are enforcing the boater education requirement by issuing infractions and removing violating vessels and operators from the water.
The classroom course the Sheriff’s Office offers is one of the three different ways the public can complete the boater education course. Boat operators can also take the course online from any of the recognized providers, or complete the training through a printed home study course. The boating program portion of the Washington State Parks and Recreation web site has links to all of the different ways of completing the boater education course.
"The boater education course is extremely important to ensure safety on our area's lakes and rivers," said Sheriff Tom Jones. "It is one step to making sure everyone can safely enjoy the great recreation this area has to offer."
For more information call the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, 509-754-2011 ext. 468, or see the Washington State Parks Boater Education website, www.parks.wa.gov/boating/boatered/.