Rare opportunity to attend free Boater Safety Course. A law passed in 2014 requires anyone born after May 1, 1996, to pass a Boater Safety Course before operating motorboats. All ages must pass the course to use a personal watercraft. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation only offers the free course a couple of times a year.

The course will be held over 2 days at the DEC's Region 5 headquarters at 1115 State Rt. 86 in Ray Brook. Certified Instructors and DEC Environmental Conservation Officers teach the course, which includes eight hours of classroom instruction from at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, July 29.

Instruction is available to anyone 10 or older. Upon completion, you get a temporary Safe Boating Certificate good for 90 days. If you're 18 or over you can get a permanent certificate by submitting $10 to the Bureau of Marine Services. Class size is limited so it would be a good idea to pre-register, call 518-897-1324.

Courses conducted by other groups are held throughout the year but are not free. Get details on courses taught by the US Coast Guard and U.S. Power Squadron at the DEC's website.

SOURCE: Department of Environmental Conservation

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