WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Boaters, listen up! Starting Saturday, anyone under 26 years old is required to pass a safe boating course before operating a boat in North Carolina. The course must be approved by the national association of state boating law administrators.
Anyone with a captain's license or who have taken an approved boating course in the past are exempt. If you're renting or chartering, you're also exempt. If you're a new boat owner, you have 90 days to pass the class.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is enforcing the new state law for safety reasons.
"Safer waterways, safer boating, you know we want everybody to be safe, that's the goal," said Todd Radabaugh of the Wildlife Resources Commission. "I want everyone to go home at the end of the weekend."
You must carry your course certificate and proof of age on the boat. Violators could have to appear in court for the infraction.
The Wildlife Commission is offering the six-hour boating course for free. To find out about when the class is offered, you can visit http://www.ncwildlife.org.