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Water safety for life

By Senior Airman Tristan Biese 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will host a free boater’s safety class at the Joint Base Langley-Eustis Fort Eustis Outdoor Recreation Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 16, 2019.

All active duty personnel and family, retirees and civilian employees with a Department of Defense identification card above the age of 14 are welcome to attend the class.

“Anyone that operates any kind of personal water craft that is 10 horsepower or more, has to have a boater’s safety certificate,” said Kay White, Fort Eustis Outdoor Recreation outdoor activities director.

The class will be taught by Pete McHugh, a boating safety instructor with the VDGIF. The class discusses the various boating laws, safe boating operations, equipment requirements and touches on charting and navigation.

“The sea can be unforgiving of mistakes and poor planning,” McHugh said. “This course prepares somebody to have a fun and enjoyable experience on the water but to also be prepared if equipment breaks, the weather changes or if any other unforeseen issues happen.”

McHugh recommends that everyone attend the class even if they will be on a boat but have no intention of operating it.

“Imagine someone invites you out on a boat, you know nothing about the equipment or about signals and something happens to the person that invites you out,” McHugh said. “This [class] prepares you to be able to cope with whatever happens.”

At the end of the class, individuals will take a test and if they pass, receive their certificate. Not only is the certificate permanent but it is accepted in almost all state waters.

“For military personnel this class is really useful because if you get stationed in another state, you’ll still have your boater’s safety certificate that is accepted by the local law enforcement,” McHugh said.

For more information and to register for the class call 878-2610.


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