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Safe boating requires education and due caution

New Hampshire is home to many beautiful lakes that provide residents and tourists with scenic and recreational enjoyment all year round. Active summertime recreational activities are plentiful, including swimming and boating. As fun as motorboating can be, like driving a car, operating a boat requires skill and care to ensure safety.

Tragic boating accidents do happen, and this summer in New Hampshire has seen it firsthand. As reported in the Laconia Daily Sun, a young child was water skiing when she was tragically killed. The operator of the boat pulling her across the water reportedly became distracted, leading him to accidentally allow the boat to travel over the child, causing fatal injuries.

The State recognizes that motorboats are not merely toys but can be dangerous machines requiring skill and knowledge to safely operate them. New Hampshire has laws in place requiring boat drivers to have an education on boating prior to managing a boat on the waters. The mandatory education law applies to operating boats of at least 25 horsepower, such as a boat that would pull water-skiers.

New Hampshire offers an education course that a person may take to meet this requirement. However, it also recognizes some other forms of boating education, including certified boating certificates from other states if approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. An online course is available, and upon completion, with the confirming document, the student must then appear for a proctored exam. The proctored exams are available in many locations throughout New Hampshire.

While summertime activities can cause a variety of unexpected injuries, if people do not exercise due care, it is impossible to overstate the deadly outcomes that can come from boating. Boating education is a minimum requirement but must go hand in hand with a cautious vigilance while engaging in the favorite summer pastime of boating and water-skiing.

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