Free boating safety classes offered at Illinois Waterway Visitor Center

Rock Island District
Published July 2, 2021
Jet Ski and Boat

Jet Ski and Boat

OTTAWA, Illinois – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, will offer two free Illinois Safe Boating classes this summer at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center July 24 and August 14 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The classes are open to everyone age 11 and older. Students under age 16 should be accompanied by an adult and pre-registration is required. Upon successful completion of the class and exam, participants will receive an Illinois DNR Boat Safety Certification.

Located at 950 N. 27th Road in Ottawa, Illinois, the classroom-based course will include instruction in basic boating safety, equipment and requirements, motorboat registration and titling, navigation, basic maintenance, emergency measures and Illinois and federal boating laws. No on-the-water experience will be offered during the class. Class materials will be provided but participants should plan to bring their own lunch and drinks.

Illinois law requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, who intends to operate a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more, to complete a boating safety course. The class is recommended for people who are new to boating, scouts, families that enjoy weekend boating adventures, or seasoned boaters who would like to brush up on their safe boating knowledge. Anyone over the age of 12 can be certified.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 77 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

According to Park Ranger and Boating Instructor, Bob Petruney, “People who go through a boating safety class are more aware of Illinois’ boating laws and safety concerns. They are also more comfortable operating their vessel and can safely enjoy themselves when on the water.” 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages all boaters to follow state and federal boating regulations and to wear life-saving personal floatation devices when near or on the water.

For more information or to register for a class, contact Illinois Waterway Visitor Center at 815-667-4054.

Corporate Communications

Release no. 21-049