Boater Education: Saving Lives

Boater Education: Saving Lives


[Narrator]
This is Passport to Texas. With more people enjoying Texas lakes and rivers, it’s important
for everyone that boaters educate themselves on boating skills and seamanship. In 2011,
the Texas legislature updated who must receive this training. [Tim Spice]
Any person born on or after September 1, 1993, must take boater education to operate certain
vessels alone on the water. [Narrator]
Boater education coordinator, Tim Spice says, Boater Ed is beneficial for all new boaters
because piloting a boat is different than driving a car. [Tim Spice]
The biggest difference that new boaters don’t understand is brakes. There are no brakes
on a boat; so a boat’s momentum will carry it to a stop. And you cannot change course
if you have let off the power. [Narrator]Boating fatalities in Texas remain
constant — about 50 per year — since before mandatory boater education took effect; but
Spice says that doesn’t take into account the substantial increase of boaters in the
state. [Tim Spice]
The numbers have stayed constant, but the amount of use has gone up. So, you could deduct
that people are safer out there on the water. [Narrator]
Spice offers a simple tip for staying safe on the water. [Tim Spice]
What I like to tell people is: the best thing you can do is very simply just to wear a life
jacket. [Narrator]
Find Boater Ed class information at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and works to support fishing and
boating opportunities in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia
Nasti.

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