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Free Boater Safety Course meets new NYS law requirements


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oneilj - Posted on 29 May 2014

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick in partnership with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will hold a free Boater Safety Course that allows boaters to meet the requirements of a new New York State law that took effect on May 1.


The course will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 25, at the City of Tonawanda Fire Department, 44 William St., Tonawanda. Registrants must attend both sessions of the two-day course in order to be eligible for a New York State Boating Safety Card.


The new state law specifies that individuals who were born on or after May 1, 1996, who are at least 10 years of age, must successfully complete a boating course to be able to operate a powered/motor boat.


Also, according to New York State law, operators may not operate a personal watercraft (JetSki, SeaDoo, etc.) unless they are at least 14 years of age and hold a boater safety certificate for having completed an 8-hour classroom based course of instruction.


“I am pleased to once again partner with the Sheriff’s Office to offer a free boating course and ensure all residents wishing to boat this summer have the proper certificate and training,” said Legislator Hardwick.


This course is designed as a comprehensive boating safety course, teaching the fundamentals of safe boating operation and has been approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators:

  • Students must be at least 10 years of age to attend the course.
  • This course requires a minimum of 8 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Students must pass a final exam with a score of 76 percent.
  • Students will receive a temporary boating safety certificate upon completion of the course.
  • Students 18 years of age and older will be required to pay a $10 fee to NYS for issuance of a permanent boating safety certificate.
  • Permanent boating safety certificates do not expire.


Space is limited. For additional information or to register, please contact Legislator Hardwick at 858-8672 or e-mail kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.