As South Sound residents are readying their boats for the warmest months of the year, several organizations are reminding boater to be serious about safety.
In 2013, more than 2,620 people were injured in boating accidents and 560 were killed nationwide, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. In Washington that year, the latest for which statistics are available, there were 17 boating fatalities and 51 injuries.
In Washington, anyone born in 1955 or later must have a boating safety card to operate a boat with a engine of 15 horsepower or greater.
A number of government agencies and boating safety organizations offer boating safety classes.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s office will hold a free safety course June 6 at its offices, 345 W. Main St., Chehalis. There is a $10 feet to get your safety card once you pass the test offered at the end of the class.
The class is limited to the first 25 people to register. Register by calling 360-740-2713.
The class is not required to take the test, which is available online at boat_ed.com. Online courses are also available on the website.
However, the sheriff’s office recommends boaters take the course. So does First Alert, a manufacturer of safety equipment, which recently released a list of boating tips for National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22).
Here’s its list: