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Prepare Yourself for Scylla and Charbydis

Study safe boating — online and free

Every voyage can lead to Scylla and Charbydis. Mariners have always known that monsters of the sea are both real and hungry. Smart — and lucky — mariners live to tell the tale.
    That’s the kind of boater you want to be.
    Boating safety courses — offered by the wise mariners of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Power Squadron — improve your odds for steering safely around rocks, whirlpools and other monsters of the deep.
    Now you can strengthen your boating skills online — for free.
    Not so long ago, Maryland boaters wanting to take a required boating safety course had to travel and pay to find one.
    Now, the BoatUS Foundation Boating Safety Course comes to you, online and free. The course satisfies Maryland’s safe-boating education requirements for boaters and PWC operators born on or after July 1, 1972. It’s both recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program and approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
    “Making Maryland’s course free removes the last possible barrier toward ensuring everyone’s safety,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston.
    The course is loaded with interactive animations, videos and photos for a boating education that goes well beyond the basics. Videos show important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent fires aboard your boat and the best way to fit a child’s life jacket.
    When successfully completed, you print your own Certificate of Completion. Maryland Department of Natural Resources will then automatically send the official Boater Education Card to your home. Passing could also earn you a discount on boat insurance.
    Find the course at www.BoatUS.org.