Boater Safety Tips ~ The Southern Scoop’s Featured Tip of the Month
Let’s talk about boater safety tips! With summer on the horizon, we bet you’ll find yourself on a boat at some point between now and Labor Day. Whether you’re the passenger or the driver, boater safety is paramount. It goes beyond a little common sense (and remembering your life jacket). When planning your beach vacation in Destin, Pensacola Beach or Gulf Shores, our boater safety tips will help you stay safe on the waves!
Boater Safety Certification
First thing’s first – before you can operate a boat, you’ll need to take a boater safety certification. The rules are a little different between Florida and Alabama, but easy to follow. In Florida, all boaters born on or after January 1, 1988, who operate any motorized watercraft of 10 horsepower or more need a Florida Boater Education ID Card. This card is issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and has no expiration date. No one under the age of 14 may operate a personal watercraft in the state of Florida, but minors above the age of 14 may become certified.
Meanwhile, in Alabama, all persons who operate a motorized boat on Alabama waters must obtain an Alabama Vessel License. You must be at least 12 years old to get your license, and the card, issued by the Alabama Department of Conservation Marine Police, has no expiration date. Personal watercraft operators in Alabama must be at least 12 years old but cannot operate without adult supervision until at least 14 years of age.
Fortunately, if you’re just planning on renting a boat for your beach vacation in Destin, Pensacola Beach, or Gulf Shores, you can take the boater safety certification in-person before boarding. It really is as simple as that!