Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Charlee Olson, senior ranger at Trinidad Lake State Park, wants to make sure everyone is ready next summer when a new law will require boaters 14-17 to take a boat safety class before they can legally operate a vessel on state waters.
So Olson is offering a monthly online Boating Safety Class, beginning Nov. 4, to get everyone in compliance and ready when the law takes effect July 1, 2024.
"I want to help get these kids certified now, while it's slower, before the summer gets here," Olson said. "This course is required for anyone who wants to operate a motor boat, personal watercraft also known as jet skis, or a sailboat."
"Not only will the material help students stay smart and safe on the water, it can also save participants 10-15 percent on boat insurance."
Students must be 14 at the time of the class and must register for the course at least seven days in advance. It costs $15 and requires attendance at a 2-3 hour review session. You can register here: [log in for link]
. Students must be a minimum of 14 years of age at the time of the class to attend a review session, and those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The course is a combination of home study and classroom hours. Students must read and study the 60-page manual prior to attending a review session with a boating instructor.
To receive a manual, purchase it online here: [log in for link]
If you are unable to purchase and use the electronic manual, please call 303-291-7575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a physical manual.
The review session will run 2 to 3 hours, depending on class size. Students will take a written test at the end of the session and must pass with a score of at least 70 percent to receive a boater identification card.
This from the registration website regarding the Saturday, December 2, 2023 class:
This is a Boating Safely Class for 14 and 15 year-olds. CPW will be holding this class online Via Google Meets. You do not need to have a google account. Each Student will need to have their own web camera and microphone that works. Please do not show up to the actual class room. Testing will be administered online as well. Students must study and understand the Boating Safely in Colorado handbook prior to the class. Due to COVID-19 all in-person courses have been moved to online learning. Your Boating Safely Instructor will send you an email 2 days prior to the scheduled course with the meeting link and any other pertinent information related to the course.
Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Bill Vogrin