The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program is marking its 10 year anniversary, after recognizing the need to develop a national training standard amongst all local, state and tribal law enforcement and emergency first responders.
Since its inception, the BOAT Program has grown immensely. Initially, there were only 15 instructors working to train officers across the country to meet this national standard.
Today, there are more than 230 Program instructors dedicated to teaching maritime law enforcement officers how to work seamlessly on the water to act as a force multiplier for the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The reason the BOAT Program has been so successful is twofold. The first is the concept of training all maritime deck plate officers to one national standard, which has vastly improved officer safety and exponentially increased the safety and security of our nation’s ports and waterways,” says Dave Considine, BOAT Program Director. “The second is the knowledge, skills and experience of our instructor cadre. We have over 200 seasoned maritime professionals, with the vast majority having 20+ years of experience operating on the water. All of our instructors remain part of the program because they all have the same end goal in mind, to have every public safety boat operator return home safely each night to their families.”
Over the course of the past 10 years, the BOAT Program has issued over 17,000 graduation certificates to officers who have successfully completed a course.
The BOAT Program has been effective in delivering and implementing a standard of training which allows for interoperability and synergy amongst all levels of government. Beyond that, the BOAT Program has implemented agency accreditations, so that they can train and qualify their officers internally. There are currently 26 accredited agencies throughout the United States.
The BOAT Program offers 17 different courses specializing in Boating Under the Influence, Boat Operator Search and Rescue (BOSAR), Boating Accident Investigation and much more. These courses are offered throughout the year all across the United States to ensure officers everywhere have the opportunity to standardize their training on the water.