The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service/Texas Sea Grant Boating Safety Series will have a classroom and hands-on Boaters Education Course on March 7, 2020 from 8:30am – 4:00 pm at the Calhoun County Agriculture Building in Port Lavaca. Successful completion of this course will provide the participant with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Boaters Education Certification. The TPWD Boaters Education Certification is required for anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 who operates any vessel over 15 horsepower, wind-blown vessel over 14 feet and all personal watercraft. This class will be split between classroom and hands-on learning activities that will take place outside.
The classroom portion of this class will cover basic boat information to prepare the participants for the rest of the day. Once everyone has a basic understanding of boating terms, we will cover predeparture activities such as: vessel capacity, float plans, proper fueling procedures, trailering and vessel and engine maintenance. The next portion of the class will cover the legal requirements associated with recreational boat operation such as vessel numbering, age requirements for vessel operation, required safety equipment and navigation lights. This will be followed by a section on safe boating operation which will cover basic navigation rules, proper anchoring, kill switches and avoiding propeller strike injuries. The final section of the classroom activities will cover boating emergencies with an emphasis on risk management and prevention.
After the classroom portion has been completed the participants will go outside to receive hands-on instruction from Professional Mariners from the USCG, USCG Auxiliary, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Sea Grant and the Port Lavaca Fire Department. These agencies will have their personal equipment on site to provide a unique learning experience that should be beneficial to anyone that spends time on a boat.Families are welcome to attend the class together. Making sure that everyone on board the boat knows what is and is not safe to do can prevent an unnecessary boating accident and it might save some lives if the primary vessel operator in the family gets injured or has a medical emergency and is unable to drive the boat back to a safe location. The cost of the course is $20 which is due at the door. Participants must register for the class at https://tpwd.elementlms.com/course/boater-education-classroom-course-965/. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Coastal Bend Marine. If you have any questions, please contact Capt. RJ Shelly at the Calhoun County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service office (361) 552-9747.