Safe boating program graduates 36 students
The Bay Village Safe Boating class ended on June 27 with the final class of the summer being held at Whiskey Island Marina on Lake Erie. Thirty–six middle school students completed the class and were awarded certificates for their success in completing the Ohio Boating Education Course in May and three Mondays on the water during June.
Ohio Law requires any person born after Jan. 1, 1982, to complete a boating education course in order to operate a power boat with a motor of more than 10 horsepower. Students spent 35 hours learning how to boat safely and have fun on the water. The course follows the curriculum of the Spirit of America Foundation which is a national youth boating education program. Students were required to take the Ohio Boating Education Class (OBEC) and pass the exam.
On June 4 students were involved in a drowning prevention class at the Bay Village Community Pool. They had to pass a swim test and learn to use their lifejackets, which were given to each student to keep. They also learned rescue techniques, how to reenter kayaks and how to upright an overturned sailboat.
In the on-the-water classes students spent at least 5 hours in each type of vessel learning to operate motor boats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards guided by adult volunteers. In addition students operated personal watercraft or jet skis and spent time on the U.S. Coast Guard's 45-foot search and rescue vessel learning about GPS, radar, and some actually took the helm of the ship in the Cleveland harbor.
This program is administrated by the Bay Village Schools and supported by a Boating Education Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The course has educated over 400 students during the past 17 years. For additional information, visit spiritofamerica95.org.
I am coordinator of the West Cuyahoga Spirit of America Safe Boating Program. The program provides free boating education to 6th- 8th grade students. It is sponsored by the Bay Village Schools and The Spirit of America Foundation. A grant from ODNR -Watercraft helps fund the program. This is the 17th year this program has been in operation.