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Utah state park officials offer personal watercraft classes

As Utahns begin to plan their summer boating trips to area lakes and reservoirs, Utah's boating officials remind boaters to include plans for Utah's personal watercraft education course.

Utah law provides the opportunity for youths 12 to 17 to operate a watercraft such as a jet ski or wave runner if they meet the following conditions:

•Youth ages 12 to 17 must successfully complete Utah's watercraft education course and carry their certificate with them whenever they operate the machinery.

•Utah residents ages 12 to 15 also must operate under the direct supervision of a person who is 18 years of age or older.

•Operators less than 18 years of age, who have not met the above requirements, may not operate a personal watercraft unless they are accompanied on board by a person who is at least 18 years old.

"Many parents call us with less than one week before their trip, hoping to get their child into one of Utah's watercraft education classes," stated state parks and recreation boating education specialist, Richard Droesbeke. "By planning ahead, they can avoid the disappointment of not finding an available class."

The classroom portion of the course includes instruction and review of key Utah boating laws and rules, viewing a safety video, addressing common boating courtesies, identification of buoys and hazards, and passing a written test.

Upon completion, the watercraft operators are better prepared to safely enjoy Utah's waters.

To register and enroll in Utah's personal watercraft education course, contact the Utah State Parks and Recreation Boating hotline at 801-538-2628.

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