There were 218 boating accidents in Texas in 2021.

These accidents caused the loss of 51 lives, and 108 people were injured. Property damage totaled $1,487,819.

Operating a vessel can be an enjoyable pastime for many Texans when done safely. Everyone that operates a vessel should have some level of training to prevent unnecessary accidents.

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service/Texas Sea Grant Boating Safety Series will have a classroom and hands-on Boaters Education Course on Feb. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Calhoun County Agriculture Building in Port Lavaca.

The Boating Safety Series courses are designed to provide a hands-on boating education to the public. The goal is the prevention of boating and water-related accidents.

Successful completion of this course will provide the participant with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Boaters Education Certification. The certification is required for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, who operates any vessel over 15 horsepower, any wind-blown vessel over 14 feet, and all personal watercraft.

Participants should dress for the weather on the day of the class and expect to be outdoors for two to three hours.

Professional mariners from several local, state, and federal agencies will be on-site to assist in providing hands-on boating safety training.

The course costs $20, due at the door, and participants must register at https://tpwd.elementlms.com/course/boater-education-classroom-course-1543.

Lunch will be provided courtesy of Coastal Bend Marine.

If you have any questions, please contact Capt. RJ Shelly at the Calhoun County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service Office at 361-552-9747 or rj.shelly@tamu.edu.