2023 GRDA Safe Boating Courses

Feb 10, 2023

Boat safe, boat smart, boat certified … If your plans for the summer months include boating, you may want to consider taking one of the free boater safety education courses offered by the GRDA Police Department. Children between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age; without a valid driver’s license are required to take a boater safety course before operating certain vessels on Oklahoma waters. However, the course is open to adults as well.

It may be the midst of winter but with the promise of spring and summer weather coming in just a few months, it is a good time to begin preparations for warm days spent on the boat, enjoying Grand Lake and Lake Hudson.

As you make those preparations, be sure to keep boating safety a priority. In fact, you may want to consider setting aside some time to attend one of the free boater safety education courses the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department will be offering.

As in previous years, these “Kyle Williams Safe Boating Courses” will be offered at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. This year, you have several dates to choose from, between March and August. All courses will be held on Saturdays, on the following dates: March 11, April 8 and 22, May 6 and 13, June 3 and 24, July 22 and August 12. All courses will be held 8AM to 5PM.

The course was named after a 12-year-old Oklahoma boy who was killed in a personal watercraft accident on Lake Eufaula in 2004. To help prevent such tragedies in the future, the Kyle Williams Safe Boating Act became law in 2007. It prohibits children between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age; without a valid driver’s license, from operating any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower, or sailing vessel 16 feet or longer, without first completing a state-approved boater safety course.

While children in this age group need to take the course for certification, older adults are also encouraged to attend. The course will cover several boating topics including boating terminology, boat maintenance, safe and courteous boat operations, navigation regulations, docking and maneuvering skills, equipment requirements and boating laws.

A possible insurance benefit, opportunity to learn something new (including rules specific to Grand and Hudson lakes) and, ultimately, the chance to set an example for younger boaters, are all good reasons for adults to attend.

The goal of the GRDA Police Department is to help everyone boat safe, smart, and certified this summer. These free courses can help you to do that.