With summer right around the corner, boaters across Rhode Island and Massachusetts will begin to put their boats back in the water and start cruising along the waves again. As fun as the water can be, at the start of each season boaters should review water safety procedures and ensure their drivers are properly certified to prepare them for the summer ahead.
Boater Certification Requirements in Rhode Island
In support of RI’s mandatory boater certification requirements, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has a website offering boating safety and education information and certification courses.
It is mandatory that all Rhode Island boaters born after January 1, 1986 operating a boat with a greater than 10 hp motor, or operating a jet ski, be certified for boating on any RI body of water. (R.I. Gen. Laws. 46-22-9.8) To become certified, boat operators must have completed a R.I. Division of Law Enforcement approved safety course.
Rhode Island law exempts only certain people from boating without a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Rhode Island certified boating license. If you are a person who operates a vessel under training, directly supervised by a person on board the vessel who is eighteen (18) years of age or older, if you hold a valid commercial vessel operator’s license issued by the United States Cost Guard, a state, or a province, or you are a non-resident temporarily using the waters of Rhode Island, then you will be exempt under R.I. law.
Boat operators must pass the safety exam not only to ensure their own safety, but the public’s safety as well. Through the course, boaters will learn proper ways to safely operate a variety of boating vessels, the correct ways to handle the changing tides, and emergency procedures in the event of a capsize or boating accident.
Additional Tips for Safe Boating
Although the open waters can be an enjoyable experience for many, they can also be dangerous if not approached with proper training and safety techniques. For more information, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will provide you with important boating tips and requirements to enjoy the RI waters. For example:
- all children under 13 riding in a recreational boat 65 feet or less must wear a Coast Guard approved jacket
- all persons being towed behind a boat on a surfboard, skis, or tube, must wear a life jacket
- 46 freshwater and 41 saltwater boat launch sites offer public access to boating waters throughout RI
- discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage is prohibited in all of Narragansett Bay and within 3 miles of the RI shore, to ensure water quality in our boating waters
The Bottaro Law Firm, LLC | Experienced Representation for Boating Accident Injuries
The Bottaro Law Firm, LLC provides experienced legal representation for individuals who are injured in boating accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. To learn more about your rights after being injured in an accident, call Attorney Mike Bottaro at (866) 529-9700 or request a free consultation online today.