BRA to host PK boater safety course
The Brazos River Authority will host a boater safety course Sept. 24, which those born after Sept. 1, 1993 are required to take before operating boats of a certain size. The Possum Kingdom Lake class takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Lake Office, 301 Observation Point Road in Graford. A lunch break is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m., and participants are responsible for their own lunch. For more information, call the PK Lake Office at 940-779-2321. State law requires anyone born on or before Sept. 1, 1993, to complete the course before legally operating a boat with a motor of more than 15 horsepower or wind-blown boats longer than 14 feet. Boater safety courses help boat operators become more aware of potential difficulties and present advice on how to deal with a variety of situations. Data from 2014 (the most recent year available) shows 4,064 boating accidents reported that year involving 610 deaths and 2,678 injuries, an increase from 2013. Operator inexperience was listed the top factor in boating accidents, something the boater safety course helps address. In 88 percent of boating deaths, the operator had not earned a boater safety certificate. Some boat insurance companies offer discounts for those who complete the course, but you should contact your insurance company to be sure. The BRA courses require a $10 fee, picture ID and Social Security number. Children must be at least 12 years old to take the class, and all those younger than age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Those participating must be at least age 13 before they can be certified. This course provides in-depth information for those who may be new to boating, and meets the requirements of Texas law. More information about boating laws and safety is available online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/boat/laws/ and https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/boater-education/faq.