The weather is changing as temperatures rise so does the excitement for those who love boating. The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says this year's Spring Aboard campaign will be held March 21 through March 27. During that time the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit will be out in force encouraging boaters to get prepared for the upcoming season by taking a safety education course. According to the sheriff's office the course was designed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters and paddlers to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating safety education course.
Remember it's the law. In Washington State those who own and operate a vessel with a 15-horsepower engine (or greater) need to be certified and carry a Boater Education Card to prove they passed an accredited boating safety education course.
In 2020 sheriff's officials say there were 24 boating fatalities with only one operator that had gone through a boating safety education coarse. paddlers accounted for 13 of the 24 fatalities.
Boaters have three options to get certified. An instructor-led virtual classroom course, an online self-study or a home study and equivalency exam which is recommended for boaters who already have a lot of boating experience.

More information about courses and the boater education card can be found at www.boatered.org.
To obtain a Adventures in Boating student manual; www.boat-ed.com/washington/handbook
For information on online courses: https://parks.state.wa.us/448/Online-Courses