Non-Emergency Dispatch:
360.426.4441
Sheriff's Office North:
360.277.3097
Sheriff's Office South:
360.427.9670 X313


Home » Press Release » Boaters Urged to Get Educated Before Boating Season

Boaters Urged to Get Educated Before Boating Season

Shelton, Washington (February 5, 2018) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and state, federal and nonprofit partners encourage boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season. During the week of March 18-24, as part of the Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign, the March 18th and 24th Mason County Sheriff’s Office will offer two Washington State Parks Adventures in Boating safety education courses. To register for the courses or ask any questions contact Deputy Chris Gaynor at cgaynor@co.mason.wa.us.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80% of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water. If a boater has taken a boating safety education course the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater for them as well as their passengers,” said Stephanie Weatherington, President of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for everyone’s schedule. Boaters have multiple options from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing, and March is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins.”

Washington State provides 5 different methods to complete and pass a state-approved boating safety course or equivalency exam to get the Washington Boater Education Card.  For more information follow this link; https://parks.state.wa.us/442/Mandatory-Boater-Education.

You are required to have a Boater Education Card if you fit the following criteria.

  • You plan on operating a vessel with a 15-horsepower (or greater) motor, and
  • You were born after Jan. 1, 1955, and
  • You are 12 years of age or older.

You are exempt if you fit the following criteria.

  • You were born before January 1, 1955.
  • You are able to show a valid commercial license.
  • You are able to show a valid Coast Guard Marine Operator License.
  • You are renting a boat, have completed a watercraft safety checklist provided by the vendor and been issued a temporary card which you must carry with you.
  • You are operating a government vessel exempt from state registration.
  • You are practicing or engaging in a permitted racing event, as long as permitting documentation is available upon inspection at the event site.

You have a 60-day exemption period if you fit the following criteria.

  • You are visiting from another state or country and boating for less than 60 days. After 60 days you must have a Washington state Boater Education Card.
  • You hold a valid boater education card from another state. You will need to contact us to confirm if it’s valid.
  • You have recently purchased your boat and can show the bill of sale with the date of purchase. After 60 days you must have a Washington state Boater Education Card.

“The Mason County Sheriff’s Office will be leaders in our community by providing the best law enforcement services possible.” 

Media Contact:

Sgt. Trevor Severance

tseverance@co.mason.wa.us