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Boat Safe, Boat Smart, New Mexico!

Recreational Boaters Urged to Get Educated Before the Upcoming Boating Season

By NM State Parks | April 11, 2017

Santa Fe, NM: The New Mexico State Parks Boating Program offers free Boating Safety classes throughout the year. Springtime is the perfect time to refresh your safe boating knowledge or for first time boaters, to get educated on boating safely in our New Mexico State Parks. This is a wonderful way to get ready for a fun-filled summer outing on the lake!
Boaters have many ways to educate themselves, from classroom courses offered by New Mexico State Parks and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, to convenient online offerings available anytime. “There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing how to boat safely and prevent possibly endangering yourself or others,” said Barry Lucero, Chief of Law Enforcement and Boating Law Administrator for New Mexico State Parks.

On Saturday, April 15th, both Elephant Butte Lake State Park and Heron Lake State Park will host fre
e Boating Safety Courses from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at their respective parks.

Who is required to take the course? All motorboat, personal watercraft and sailboat operators born on or after January 1, 1989, must complete a boating safety course to operate on New Mexico waters. This means operators – even those 13 years and younger being supervised by an adult on board. Studen
ts must score 80
percent on the closed book exam to receive their Boater Education Card and have it on-board the motorboat during its operation.

Forty-nine (49) states and U.S. territories require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels.For a listing of all boating education classes offered by New Mexico State Parks Boating Program, please visit

“We want everyone to get educated and to be safe out on the water,” said Chris Bolen, State Parks’ Boating Safety, Education and Enforcement Program Coordinator. The eight-hour course is taught by New Mexico State Parks Marine Enforcement Officers. “These courses provide students the opportunity to interact with an experienced boating instructor,” Bolen added.

A list of four (4) approved online course providers is also available at

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