Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators mandated that after May 1, 2010, every person under the age of 26 must complete a NASBLA-approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 or more horsepower in the state of North Carolina.
“A good number of Marines in the Cherry Point area here are 26 and under, so it really affects a lot of them,” said Leo T. Munday, a safety specialist with the Joint Safety Office aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “The Marines have been very responsive and diligent in getting the correct training in order for them to get out there on the water.”
North Carolina is the first state where the law is in effect with an ample supply of waterways and boating opportunities, Marines and Sailors aboard the air station must complete the necessary education course if they are 26 or younger.
Resident boating education courses are offered locally for free while online courses are offered for a fee.
On http://www.ncwilflife.org, under the education workshops tab, there is a link to boating education courses, which displays when and where resident courses are available, as well as links to online Web sites that offer the course.
The Web site also includes information regarding all regulations on hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife, how to obtain licenses and permits, and where education courses are offered.
Once the course is taken and passed, a NASBLA-approved card is given and will have to be held at all times if the person is 26 years old or younger.
“I didn’t have to attend the course, but I had my 14-year-old son attend and he operates my boat with me so I wanted to make sure he had the education,” said Munday. “I sat at the course and with me being base safety, it was a good reminder of basic boating safety requirements.”