*758 people have died in boating accidents this season,
*Most boaters were not wearing life jackets.
*There have been 4,500 boating accidents.
*Only 11 percent of boaters had even minimal safety instruction.
Friends of Sampson State Park encourage all boaters to take boating safety courses. “The best place for boaters to start is with the ‘Americas Boating Course’” said Don Kloeber, co chair of Friends of Sampson marina committee and a certified boating safety instructor.
“This course provides an introduction to many of the basic skills and knowledge and qualifies participants for a discount from many boat insurance companies,” Kloeber said.
Information about when courses are offered is available from Seneca Sail & Power Squadron, www.senecasquadron.us or Ithaca Sail & Power Squadron, www.usps.org/localusps/ithaca. Both websites have education pages describing courses, listing schedules and contact info.
In general the squadrons teach courses in the fall, winter and spring as the members are busy boating during the summer. There are exceptions, especially if there is a significant interest e.g. a yacht club or other group that has a number of members that are interested in a course they will sometimes accommodate a special request, Kloeber said.
Information also is available at the national US Power Squadron site www.usps.orgfor classes in other areas.
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