Acting superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Lieutenant Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, says the Patrol will participate in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Spring Aboard campaign.

Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boater education course. The campaign emphasizes enrollment in approved courses which meet the national boating educational standard.

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.

The Spring Aboard campaign encourages boaters to register for a certified boating educational course during the week of March 19-25, 2017. Forty-nine states and U.S. territories require some form of boater education.

Missouri law requires everyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes to possess a certified boating safety education card and photo ID. This includes personal watercraft operators.

Boaters have the opportunity to sign up for a certified course in a classroom or take an online course by visiting the Patrol’s website. Look under Training on the Patrol’s homepage for the “Boat Safety Education & Certification” link. The classroom course provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol is free, but registration is required and the boater ID card costs $15. Additional fees apply to the online course, which is provided by

“Everyone looks forward to warm weather and the ability to spend time outdoors,” said Lt. Col. Karsten, “and Missouri’s many beautiful waterways provide endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation. The Patrol encourages those who have not already taken a course to sign up for a boating safety class now, before the season starts.”

Kurt Parsons