Boating is one of the most popular pastimes in Louisiana for a reason: With our warm weather and gorgeous bodies of water, it makes for a wonderful afternoon. The last thing that you want is for a safety violation, accident or injury to ruin your trip.

One way that the state of Louisiana prevents accidents is by requiring boaters who were born after January 1, 1984, to take a boating safety course. If you or your friends were born after this date, you are required to take this course. In this post, we will go over a few more important things that you should know about taking the state’s boating safety course.

Who is required to take the safety course?

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries encourages everyone to take the safety course, but it is only mandatory for boaters who were born after January 1, 1984. After you complete the course, you will be given an official Boater Education Card. You must carry this card as proof of completing the course if you will be operating a boat that has more than 10 horsepower.

If the boater is a minor, then they may still operate the boat as long as they are accompanied by someone over the age of 18 who has passed the course.

How much does it cost?

You may take the course in a classroom, or online. If you take it in a classroom, the course is completely free. If you opt to take it online, there is a small fee.

What does it cover?

The course covers a variety of important topics such as choosing a boat, types of equipment, legal requirements, navigation rules and more.

Neglecting safety rules is not only dangerous—it ruins the fun for everyone else. Even if the course is not mandatory for you, it never hurts to refresh your memory on safety regulations. On the water, all you want is fun and sun—not an injury.