Black Diamond Police Department offering boating education class

The class is scheduled for March 20, starting at 9 a.m.

With the weather warming up, the Black Diamond Police Department is planning to host a socially-distanced boating education course for 15 people.

The class is scheduled for March 20 at the police department building (25510 Lawson St.), starting at 9 a.m.; it is an all-day class, and masks will be required.

This class is a part of the Washington State Parks’ Spring Aboard Campaign, which encourages recreational boaters and watercrafters (including paddlers) to prepare for the boating season.

“An educated boater is a safer boater,” the BDPD said in a press release. “U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the operator had not received formal boating safety instruction.”

Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. The Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents in 2019.

In Washington, most boaters are required by law to pass a boating safety course and get a mandatory boater education card before going into the water.