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Underage boaters reminded to take safety course before using watercrafts

As you plan your summer boating trips to one or more of Utah's lakes or reservoirs, Utah's boating officials remind you to include plans for Utah's Personal Watercraft Education Course.

Utah law provides the opportunity for youths 12 through 17 to operate a personal watercraft (PWC, i.e. Sea Doo, Jet Ski, and Wave Runner) if they meet the following conditions:

•Persons 12 through 17 must successfully complete Utah's PWC Education Course and carry their certificate with them whenever they operate.

•Youths, ages 12 through 15, must also operate under the direct supervision of a person who is 18 years of age or older.

•PWC operators who are less than 18 years of age, who have not met the above requirements, may not operate a PWC unless a person who is at least 18 years old accompanies them on board the PWC.

"Many people call with less than one week before their trip, hoping to get their child into one of Utah's PWC education classes," said Richard Droesbeke, boating education coordinator for Utah State Parks. "By planning ahead, they can avoid the disappointment of not finding an available class."

The course is designed to have the students study the materials at home, then come to a central location for the classroom portions of the course. The 1.5-hour classroom portion of the course includes instruction and review of important Utah boating laws and rules, viewing a PWC safety video, addressing common boating courtesies, identification of buoys and hazards, and passing a written test.

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

The PWC Education Course celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Todate, approximately 18,000 youth have taken the course.

To register and enroll in Utah's PWC Education Course, contact the Utah State Parks and Recreation Boating Hotline at 801-538-BOAT (2628) from within the Salt Lake calling area or 1-800-RIDE-PWC (743-3792) from areas outside of the Salt Lake calling area, or visit

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