LAS VEGAS (National Park Service) – Taking a safe boating course does pay, especially for those who bring their boater education card or certificate to Lake Mead National Recreation Area during Memorial Day weekend. The National Park Service is waiving lake use fees Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30 on Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, a savings of $16 per vessel, for boaters who show proof of completing an approved boating course.
“Statistics show that the majority of boaters who are involved in accidents report that they haven’t completed a formal boating education course,” said Superintendent Bill Dickinson.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics reported in 2009 that 78 percent of boating accidents and 86 percent of boat fatalities involved operators with no formal boating education.
“We’re announcing this early so boaters who haven’t taken a course will have a chance to do so before the holiday weekend,” said Dickinson. For those who’ve already taken a course, “they’ll have to dig out their card or certificate to get the waiver,” he said.
To take advantage of the lake use fee waiver, boaters will have to present proof of having completed a National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved course at their time of entry. NASBLA approved courses include those offered by any state, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or organizations like the United States Power Squadrons. Proof may be in the form of a boater education card or certificate of completion.
“The more boaters we have following the boating rules of the road, the safer boating will be for everyone,” said Dave Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator.
According to Pfiffner, Nevada mandates that boaters born on or after January 1, 1983 complete a boating education course before operating a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower on Nevada’s interstate waters. These waters include lakes Mead and Mohave.
Dickinson says that with lake levels due to rise this summer, boating conditions on Lake Mead will be some of the best in years.
Most states offer free boating safety correspondence courses and courses on the internet for a fee.
Safe boating course information is available at:
Nevada Department of Wildlife: http://www.ndow.org
Arizona Department of Game and Fish: http://www.azgfd.gov
California Department of Boating and Waterways: http://www.dbw.ca.gov
U.S. Coast Guard: http://www.uscgboating.org
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the nation’s fifth most visited national park. Over a memorial day weekend, the park typically receives between 150,000 to 200,000 visits. The fee waiver only applies to the lake use fee and doesn’t affect annual pass holders, entrance fees for vehicles and individuals, camping fees, or fees charged by concessionaires.
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