You’re going to Louisiana on vacation. Maybe you live in a landlocked state or you’re far from the coast, so you’d really like to get out on the water. You’re thinking about renting a boat, as you do not own one of your own.
If so, you should know that you do not need to have a special license, in the way that you need a driver’s license to rent a car. What you do have to do, however, is to complete a boater education course. This is true for everyone who was born after January 1 of 1984 and who wishes to rent a boat. If you have completed the course at some point in your life, you should be given a certificate to prove that you did so.
However, it is also possible for someone to operate a boat if they are simply accompanied by a person who has completed one of these courses. As long as one person in your family or your group can show that they have passed the class, renting a watercraft should not be a challenge.
What dangers do boaters face in this regard?
Unfortunately, you do want to be aware that boating is an inherently dangerous situation. You may do everything safely and not make any mistakes. But you’re certainly sharing the water with a lot of other operators who may have completed a course decades ago or who may not have completed it at all – and who are simply riding with someone else who did. This can lead to a lot of mistakes and could potentially even lead to boating accidents.
Plus, many people who rent boats are in the same situation as you. They don’t own boats, and they have very little experience. Even if someone went through a course back when they were in high school, it’s not as if they are going out on a boat every weekend. This lack of experience can still lead to mistakes and errors. For example, people will sometimes be unsure which side they’re supposed to pass on, who has the right of way or how to bring a boat into a dock in a safe and controlled manner.
Have you been injured?
If you do get involved in an accident that someone else causes, you may suffer very serious injuries on your vacation. If so, seeking legal guidance promptly can help you to safeguard your interests and protect your rights to compensation.