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Boaters Invited to Take Free Boater Education Course April 9

Those who complete course earn a boating safety certificate

Learn about boat safety, equipment, and regulations, and earn a state boating safety certificate at a Boater Education Course from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at James “Pate” Philip State Park, 2050 W. Stearns Road in Bartlett.
State law requires individuals 18 or order born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 to have a boating safety certificate to operate boats with motors over 10 horsepower. Those between 10 and 17 years old may operate a motorized boat with a more than 10 hp motor only if they complete a boating safety course and possess a boating safety certificate. They also must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a valid boating safety certificate, if the parent or guardian is born after Jan. 1, 1998.

The course covers the basics of boating safety, equipment and requirements, navigation, motorboat, registration and titling, emergency measures and Illinois boating laws. The program is open to ages 11 and up (under 18 with an adult). Register online or at 630-933-7248. Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources webpage for more information about the program.

“Boat sales skyrocketed during the pandemic,” said DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Sgt. Rick Splittgerber, who is teaching the course. “I encourage everyone to attend a boater safety class, especially first-time boat owners regardless of age. The class helps reduce personal injury and property damage associated with the use of recreational boats.”

The top five contributing factors in boating accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure, Splittgerber said.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, FacebookTwitter, Instagram and TikTok pages.