It may not feel like boating season yet, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), along with boating safety advocates nationwide, are urging boaters to enroll in a boating education course this spring.
“Education is the key to having a safe and enjoyable day on the water, and spring is the perfect time to take a course before the summer boating season begins,” said Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa DNR.
Traditional and online courses are available. Courses are made to fit every schedule and lifestyle. The Iowa DNR has boater education information online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/things-to-do/boating/boater-education.
“A boating safety course provides critical boating knowledge and better prepares you for the risks you may face while boating,” Stocker said.
Benefits to taking a boater education course
- Boost your confidence by brushing up on essential boating skills.
- Even if you have already taken a course or are an experienced boater, taking a new course can sharpen your skills.
- A boating safety course can save boaters money. Many boat insurance providers offer discounts to people who have successfully completed a boating safety course.
Iowa boating statistics
- In 2019, there were 22 reported boating incidents on Iowa waters: 14 of those were personal injury; six involved property damage and six resulted in fatalities. Of the six fatalities, two involved alcohol as a contributing factor
- In 2020, there were 39 reported boating incidents on Iowa waters: 16 of those were personal injury; 17 involved property damage, and nine resulted in fatalities. Of the nine fatalities, six involved alcohol as a contributing factor.
- In 2021, there were 33 reported boating incidents on Iowa waters: 26 of those were personal injury; 17 involved property damage, and three resulted in fatalities. None of the fatalities involved alcohol.