Free boating basics course

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A coordinated effort between the Edgartown Police Department and the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) is offering a Massachusetts Boating Basics Course to the public free of charge.

The course is approved by the the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). It aims to teach safe boat operation through awareness of safety equipment, safe boating practices, and legal responsibilities.

The course is taught by the MEP, with Edgartown Officer Ryan Ruley, who runs the town’s marine unit, assisting in the course and fielding questions about local laws and rules.

“I feel good about it. I think it’s a great opportunity as a police department to reach out to the youth and some of the inexperienced boaters,” Ruley said, adding it was a good way to get to know the community.

Attendees ages 12 to 15 who successfully complete the course will be issued a Safety Certificate allowing them to operate a motorboat without adult supervision. Those aged 16 to 17 who complete the course will meet state requirements for personal watercraft users. Students must be at least 12 to attend.

Edgartown Police are encouraging families to attend the class together.

“The Massachusetts Environmental Police are dedicated to protecting and educating boaters across the commonwealth, and are proud to work with the Edgartown Police Department to offer this free boating safety course to keep Martha’s Vineyard residents safe as they enjoy our beautiful marine resources,” Katie Gronendyke, an MEP spokesperson, said.

The classes will meet on April 22, 25, 29, and May 2 at the Edgartown Police Department. Registration is required. To register visit bit.ly/Edgartownsafety. The course ID is 4437.