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New boating safety regulations in effect


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- It used to be that pretty much anybody and everybody could get out on the water and operate a boat. That’s no longer the case.

New state regulations effective May 1 require boaters under the age of 26 to attend and pass a boating safety course before getting out on the water. They must carry a certificate of completion as well as their ID on their boat at all times.

"By the time most of us are 16 years old, we've spent hundreds of hours operating a car. That's not true with a boat," said Lt. Todd Radabaugh of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. "There's many older folks that just don't have the experience with boating, so this course will give them a lot of information that they can use to their benefit."

The Wildlife Resources Commission offer courses for free. For a list of times and availability you can follow this link to their website:

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This requirement is not

This requirement is not applicable to people renting boats or anyone from out of state. These people are the biggest dangers on the water!

everyone needs this

Given the jack*** moves I've seen on any typical weekend (especially holiday weekends,) everyone should be required to pass a competency test before being allowed to pilot a watercraft, tow skiers, tow tubers, etc...

The waterway is getting more and more crowded. Martini toting weekend warrior Raleigh-ites with $150000 40 foot fiberglass behemoths swamp families with kids in 14 foot jonboats regularly. Every year someone either smashes their kid into a pier with a towed tube, or besotted boneheads get "lost at sea" when they had no business being on the water in that kind of weather anyway.

My advice: get certified, check your gear, drink responsibly, and check the weather/tides before you go.

and don't forget the drain plug!

Yes! These people are MORONS

Thses people in their $40k boats who have never owned a boat are a murderer in training!
I have a 15' aluminum v.. It allows me fo fish the shallows of the river,the intracoastal, gig for flounder, and troll the inlet.. Its all I need.. All I want... My son, daughter and I can load up three coolers a day..
I cannot count the times in the past several years that I or my children have almost been injured or worse, by these large boats, running full throttle coming by us (when there is plenty of room) and almost swamping us or throwing one of the children out...
And why? For what?.... Is it intentional or just plain ignorance?
The law says...
If operating a power-driven vessel, you must give way to:
Any vessel not under command, such as an anchored or disabled vessel

This means you jacka$r$es you MUST slow down when approaching close to an anchored vessle which is fishing.

When you take the course... You'll find that out...

Growing up here, my father had a large boat, I never, ever dared going by a smaller boat at a high rate of speed for fear I may harm someone...

As for me?? I am waiting for one of you jerks to swamp me.. YOU ARE LIABLE if negligent (not gross neglifgence.. simply negligent in the manner in which you operate your vessel...

This means if you cause someone so much as a bruise because you are stupid or just mean.. you can be sued...

Maybe if those of us who do boat safely, start suing you all like car drivers do, maybe you will start being a bit more careful and concerned about the lives you endanger on a daily basis... And it's you people who are just as rude at the boat ramps...
You can tell someone, even a teenager who grew up on the water in Wilmington.. How? Theyshow respect to all watercraft.. Why? Because its the correct thing to do...

You said it Greenie!

I agree with you totally! There are "rules of the road" when it comes to boating as well! Most dumb@@s'es don't realize that!?

agreed...but the thing is,

agreed...but the thing is, it's on online test. i highly doubt taking a test at home, which can be done for free as many times as youd like, will help the safety. if you pass you can pay $30 and get your certificate. not really about safety here...the waters will continue to be to be full out careless drivers, especially from out of state and boat renters....

way to raise money during a crisis

this law is unfair, as it does not require people from out of state or those who rent boats to get a license. so an 11 year old from ohio can come down and can drive a boat, while a 25 year old from NC who has been driving a boat with their parents since he was 10 must get a license. i have a feeling that safety is not the reason this law was it does not even address the real issue...

Classes are free

Its certainly not a money raising campaign if they courses are offered for free....

true...but once you complete

true...but once you complete the class if you want to certificate you pay $30, then you can drive a boat...

The class the Wildlife

The class the Wildlife Resources Commission offers is conducted in a classroom setting. It is a six hour course. Once you complete the classroom training you take a written test. If you pass the test, you get a certificate. There is no charge for the certificate.