NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 7, 2013

Boating safety class begins tonight

A Boat Massachusetts safety course will be offered starting tonight. This course is sponsored by the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Salisbury Harbormaster Department at the Boys and Girls Club, on Maple Street, Salisbury. Boat Massachusetts is state and nationally approved, concentrating on the equipment and operating guidelines needed to enjoy boating in a safe and responsible way. Successful graduates in the 12- through 15-year-old age group will be issued a Safety Certificate allowing them to operate a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. The same is true for 16- and 17-year-old youth who wish to operate a personal watercraft (jet-ski, wave runner, etc.)

Boaters interested in checking out the Environmental Police website can get more info on their classes. Go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dle and on the right margin, select the Boat Massachusetts Course Information, where you can learn about courses from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron and Boatwise, as well as Environmental Police courses in other locations.

Each course runs 10 to 12 hours in length. The normal format is five to six classes 90 minutes to two hours each, though this may vary. All classes are free of charge. This class is open to adults and youth. Family participation is encouraged and has proven to be very rewarding. Classes will be held at the Boys and Girls Club from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting today and continuing May 9, 14, 16 and 21.

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We will be available near the town pier on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. for those wishing to obtain Waterways Permits. We will continue to be in the office at Town Hall on Mondays from 1 to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m.

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Harbormaster patrols this season will have a new addition. We will occasionally be accompanied by members of the Salisbury Police Department. One goal is to work together to apprehend some of the perpetrators in the waterfront community who seek to borrow (without your permission) your dinghies, outboard motors and/or gas cans. We have also had some incidents of the “low-information” boaters siphoning gas from your gas tanks. If together we can apprehend these individuals, we will make the river a better place to operate for all of us. And we will try to find a safer place for the offenders as well.

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