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HI Boaters Must Complete Boating Education

DNLR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is reminding Hawaii boaters they now have less a year’s time to take a boating safety course approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and the State of Hawaii.  Hawaii Administrative Rule 13-244-15.5 requiring operators of motorized vessels in state waters to take a safety course became effective on Nov. 10, 2012.

Enforcement of the new rule will begin on the second anniversary of the rule’s effective date, on Nov. 10, 2014. After that date in 2014, boaters will be required to show proof of successful completion of an approved boating safety course.

“Our primary goal in pursuing and formalizing the Mandatory Education rule was safety,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.  “The use of the ocean continues to diversify.  People are venturing far from shore to enjoy our waters. All boaters should be well versed in the state current boating laws to prevent accidents and loss of life.”

“In Hawaii, approved boating safety courses must include Hawaii-specific information that can help our boaters survive at sea after an accident or better yet, help boaters avoid trouble so their sea voyages are safe and enjoyable.  It is our hope that boaters will not perceive mandatory education as a burden but rather as a way to ensure safety for our ‘ohana and enhance their enjoyment of our waters,” said Aila.

The Mandatory Education Rule will be enforced by DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement. Any person violating this rule shall be fined not less than $50 and not more than $1000 or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both, for each violation; the court may also prevent an individual from operating a vessel in State waters of the State for up to 30 days.

Information about the mandatory education rule and how to sign up for courses is posted on the DOBOR web site at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/mandatory-boating-safety-education-qa/

The public may also contact DOBOR offices on each island.

The division has worked with boating safety partners to provide Internet and classroom courses, is nearing completion on a home study course and plans to issue its own proof of compliance cards.  People who have previously taken NASBLA boating courses may be able to take an abbreviated course just on state-specific information to comply with the new rule.

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