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Lincoln, Neb. Classes are now forming for 14- and 15-year-olds who must successfully complete a boating safety course before operating personal watercraft anywhere in the state, as required by LB176 passed in 2000 by the Nebraska Legislature.

Under authority of LB176, only people 16 years of age and older will be allowed to operate personal watercraft in Nebraska waters. The lone exception will be that a person 14 years of age or older who have not yet reached their sixteenth birthday may operate personal watercraft if he or she has satisfactorily completed a boating safety course approved by the Commission and has a valid boating safety certificate in his or her possession.

Under the new regulations it is also illegal for anyone to allow a person under 16 to lease, hire, rent or operate a personal watercraft unless that person is 14 years of age or older, has not yet reached their sixteenth birthday and has met the boating safety and certification requirement.

The Nebraska Boating Basics safety course will consist of a minimum of six formal classroom hours and be taught by instructors approved by the Commission. Students must score 70 percent or higher on the exam to be certified.

Nebraska will recognize the successful completion of boating safety courses certified in other states so that people 14-and 15-years-old may operate a personal watercraft in this state. The person must, however, provide proof of having successfully completed a certified boating safety course in another state. It is important to note that completion of the Home Study Boating Education Course does not fulfill personal watercraft education requirements for persons under 16 years.

Here are the latest additions to the growing list of Boating Education Classes scheduled across the state. For information regarding classes in other areas, contact your local Game and Parks Commission office or check on the Commissions web site. Classes are forming and interested people are urged to register early to be sure they become certified prior to this years boating season.

Information about upcoming classes is available on the Boating page at Nebraska Game and Parks Commissions Internet web site at Additional information will be posted as it is received, so check back often to learn about new classes forming in your area.

Newly scheduled classes include:

Sept. 26 and 27 -- 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Chadron

NPPD, 120 Chadron Ave., to register contact Karl Dailey at 308 -7432-3025. Fee: $10.




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