Experts Recommend Taking a Pennsylvania Boating Safety Course to Reduce the Risk of Accidents

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Wearing a life jacket is one way to stay safe on the water. Another important strategy is to take an official Pennsylvania boating safety course, offered by Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc.

With boating accidents in Pennsylvania increasing by 24 percent from 2010 to 2011, it’s more important than ever to learn about safe boating. As boating season and National Safe Boating Week approach, boaters are reminded that wearing a life jacket is one important way to remain safe while enjoying Keystone State lakes, ponds and rivers. Another way is to take an official Pennsylvania boating safety course.

“We monitor the boating industry year round and with warmer weather comes the increased potential for boating accidents. Education and awareness are key factors in preventing accidents. The purpose of any boating safety course or training material is to prepare boaters for a variety of scenarios in and out of the water,” said Kurt Kalkomey, president of Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc.

Pennsylvania boating safety courses are available year round, however, spikes in course registrants are typically observed in early spring and summer. In Pennsylvania, operators are required by law to carry a boating safety education certificate to drive a personal watercraft. In addition, a boating safety education certificate is required to operate motorboats with 25 horsepower or greater for anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1982. However, officials encourage everyone, regardless of age, to complete an official Pennsylvania boating safety course before hitting the water.

Most recent national data from the U.S. Coast Guard details 4,588 accidents in 2011, including 758 fatalities and 3,081 injuries. The majority of these accidents occurred from May to September, with 77 percent of the reportable incidents for the year. In Pennsylvania, there were 87 boating accidents in 2011, resulting in 22 deaths and 59 injuries.

From a national perspective, not wearing a life jacket was reported as a factor in more than 80 percent of victims who drowned in 2011. The National Council for Safe Boating is among several organizations leading initiatives to promote boating safety education and reduce boating accidents. National Safe Boating Week will be held May 18-24, 2013, with events coordinated across the country. One of the highlights of the week is “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day.” The purpose of the campaign is to remind boaters about basic safety measures. For more information about Safe Boating Week, visit

In Pennsylvania, all vessels must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jackets that are readily accessible, though safety experts recommend that everyone wear their life jacket whenever they are on the water. Children 12 years old and younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jacket while underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and on all kayaks and canoes. The online boating safety course offered at provides more details about life jacket requirements.

To take a Pennsylvania-approved boating safety course, visit

About Kalkomey
Kalkomey, parent company of Boat Ed® and, is an official provider of recreational safety education products for all 50 states. An American company based in Dallas, Texas, Kalkomey produces print and Internet courses that have provided official safety certification since 1995. Kalkomey offers safety courses in boating, hunting, bowhunting, safe handgun use, and off-road vehicle and snowmobile operation. For more information, visit

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Tammy Sapp

Mitch Strobl
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