NEW SAFETY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR YOUNG PWC OPERATORS

IA DNR

May 2003

DES MOINES - Personal watercraft (PWC) operators 12 through 17 years old are required to have successfully completed a certified boating safety course before they can legally operate a PWC on public waters. This newly required certification is a response to a dramatic increase in the number of crashes involving PWCs and young operators.

Rod Slings, recreational safety program supervisor for the DNR, said the certification process can be handled three ways, as a home study course, over the internet, or in a classroom. Either the Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers the classroom course.

"The online version will be the most logical way to go if you're leaving on a Friday and need to take the test," Slings said. "After you submit your test answers you will know if you successfully passed the test or not. If you passed, you can print a temporary certification card and you can get out on the water."

The internet option does cost a little more - $15 versus $5 for the mail-in version - but that is the cost for convenience. The boating course and test covers all aspects of boating including how to pass another boat, what different marker buoys mean to night navigation and emergencies.

The boating information is available at http://www.iowadnr.com then click on conservation law enforcement. Failure to have a certificate of completion will result in a ticket.

For more information, contact your local Recreational Safety Officer.

For Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Sioux O'Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Plymouth Cherokee, Buena Vista, Woodbury, Ida and Sac, contact Marty Eby at 712-260-1036.

For Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Chickasaw, Bremer, Fayette, Clayton, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Tama, Benton, Linn, Jones and Jackson, contact Pat Jorgensen at 319-240-8640.

For Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Greene, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Fremont, Page, Taylor and Ringgold, contact Dale Anderson at 712-250-0302.

For Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, Clinton, Keokuk, Washington, Muscatine, Scott, Louisa, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Van Buren and Lee, contact Craig Jackson at 319-357-1812.

For Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Wright, Franklin, Butler, Calhoun, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Grundy, Boone, Story and Marshall, contact Rod Slings at 515-281-8652.

For Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Poweshiek, Madison, Warren, Marion, Mahaska, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Decatur, Wayne, Appanoose and Davis, contact Allen Crouse at 515-238-4955.