Americans have taken to the water in record numbers to enjoy the socially distanced fun and relaxation that boating provides. With more boats and new boaters on the water—many without any boating education—boating accidents and fatalities have been rising around the country.
The nation’s largest volunteer recreational boating safety nonprofit, America’s Boating Club® has partnered with marine retailer, West Marine, to alert boaters of the importance of boating safety and safe boating education this May in honor of National Safe Boating Week, May 22–28, 2021.
Boaters can sign up online for a free 20-minute training session using the America’s Boating Club’s Boating Skills Virtual Trainer, the industry’s premier interactive simulation-based boating safety program. Free simulator training sessions will be held May 14–16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in select West Marine stores nationwide.
Each Boating Skills Virtual Trainer session includes audio instruction that emphasizes the goals and approach of the 14 different training scenarios. America’s Boating Club representatives will be on-hand to answer questions as participants practice docking, maneuvering a slalom course, loading a boat onto a trailer, rescuing a person overboard and much more—all in a safe, clean, socially distanced environment.
Additionally, boaters who visit all West Marine stores in May will get free take-home boating safety checklists and cards they can use to request a free Vessel Safety Check from a qualified America’s Boating Club or U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel examiner in their area. West Marine stores will also offer life jacket fittings by its trained associates, safety videos, and much more.
“As the nation’s largest group of volunteer boating safety instructors and advocates, America’s Boating Club is honored to provide free training that demonstrates the importance of safe boating education,” said Mary Paige Abbott, Chief Commander, America’s Boating Club. “Our mission is to make our waterways safer, and we do that by teaching safe boating courses, providing free Vessel Safety Exams, and partnering with organizations and companies like West Marine who share our commitment to boating safely.”
To sign up for a free 20-minute Boating Skills Virtual Trainer session, boaters can use the registration links below or visit the America’s Boating Club Facebook page for links and more information. Spaces are limited, and registration is now open.
To learn more about America’s Boating Club, please visit americasboatingclub.org.