Registration begins for free safe boating classes for 7th grade students

Spirit of America students get a safety message from the Rocky River Marine Patrol.

This is the 11th year for a free Spirit of America Safe Boating Program sponsored by the Bay Village School District and funded by a grant from Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. The program is open to any student who will complete the 7th grade this June.

The program provides attendees the Ohio Boating Education Course (OBEC) which is required by Ohio Law for any person born on or after January 1, 1982 to take a NASBLA approved boating education class in order to operate a powerboat with an engine over 10 horsepower. The students also spend three days on the water with instruction in power boats, sail boats, paddle craft, personal water craft, and a Coast Guard vessel. 

Students must pre-register for this program and must attend all of the sessions of the program. Deadline for registration is May 7, 2010. The dates of the OBEC class are Saturday, May 15, and Saturday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A drown-proofing class will be held on June 5 from 9-10 a.m. All the classes will be held in Bay Village. 

The on-the-water sessions will be held at Whiskey Island Marina near Edgewater Park on June 14, 21 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Parents are responsible for transportation to and from all classes. 

Registration forms are available in local libraries, the Bay Village Recreation Department and online at For more information or questions, email

The Spirit of America Safe Boating Education Program has won national and state awards as an outstanding youth boating education program. The Cuyahoga County/Bay Village program is coordinated by George Christ, who was awarded the National Water Safety Council Regional Letter of Commendation in 2009 for his contribution to boating education. 

The program also relies on volunteers to teach safe boating to students on the water. The Bay Village School District sponsors the program and funding comes from a Safe Boating Education Grant from the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

George Christ is the coordinator of the West Cuyahoga Spirit of America Safe Boating Program.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 2:26 PM, 03.04.2010