NASBLA News (April 2016)


Sign up for a webinar to learn about new media toolbox

Every day, media around the nation report on recreational boating stories, but sometimes the articles and headlines only tell half the story. Reporters likely miss prime opportunities to impart safety information because they don’t have the tools readily available to know the latest statistic or what questions they should be asking to make the story complete with an awareness message to their audience.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and Stop Propeller Injuries Now, with funding support from a Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, introduces Boat Beat, a Boating Safety Media Toolbox of “methods and strategies to assist entities in carrying out media and other awareness campaigns related to pertinent boating safety messaging.”

Join us June 2, 2016, at noon Eastern Daylight Time for a free national webinar training designed specifically for state personnel on how to make the most out of this important tool.

Register online at

New marketing materials available for Operation Dry Water


The Operation Dry Water campaign is excited to bring you new marketing and outreach materials for 2016. Some resources are already available on the campaign website and ready for use. The remaining marketing and outreach resources will be released in April and May.

Here is a breakdown of resources you can expect for Operation Dry Water 2016:

As always, resources are free to download and use as needed.

Registration is open for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that would like to participate in the 2016 Operation Dry Water awareness and enforcement campaign. Register online today.

Be sure to Wear It!

Wear It 2016 Collage 2 web

Are you ready to participate in the boating safety awareness event of the year? National Safe Boating Week (May 21–27) kicks off with Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day on Friday, May 20.

This event is part of the North American Safe Boating Campaign — simply known as Wear It! — a yearlong effort that brings together boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada to promote safe and responsible boating, including voluntary, consistent wear of life jackets.

NASBLA participates in the Wear It! Campaign every year, and we encourage you to join us in 2016 by sharing your ‪#‎WearIt photos and spreading the message of ‪#‎SafeBoatWeek on social media.

BOAT Program releases its 2016 course catalog

BoatProgram2016Would you like to get your officers trained to a national standard? Check out the courses NASBLA offers through its Boat Operations and Training Program.

The BOAT Program has released its 2016 Training Course Catalog detailing all the training available, including the baseline Boat Crew Member Course, the technically challenging Pursuit and Stop, Boat Accident Investigation – both comprehensive and advanced, Boating Under the Influence Detection & Enforcement, the potentially life-saving Officer Water Survival Course, the new GPS Forensics Course, and much more. Check it out!

NASBLA’s BOAT Program Advisory Board kicks off another ambitious year

By John Fetterman, Deputy Executive Director, NASBLA

BOATLogoFinalNASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program formally launched in Corpus Christi during the NASBLA Annual Conference in September of 2010. With just one course and a handful of instructors, we knew the program was destined for rapid growth to meet the overwhelming demand for a national standard of training for maritime professionals.

In order to assure that growth of the BOAT Program was in harmony with NASBLA’s mission and in strong partnership with all stakeholders who would be impacted by the program, NASBLA’s Preparedness & Response Committee formed a subcommittee to act as an advisory body to the BOAT Program. On December 29, 2011, Spencer Cole, Preparedness & Response chairman, invited that first body to assemble and develop rules by which to function, in alignment with NASBLA bylaws to guide both the Advisory Board and the BOAT Program’s administrative policies.

The membership rules adopted by the NASBLA Executive Board state:

Membership on the BOAT Advisory Board shall not exceed fifteen (15) members, including the Chair. A minimum number of members in each identified group are as follows:  two (2) State BLA members, two (2) MLEO members, one (1) USCG Boat Forces representative, one (1) Federal Law Enforcement Training representative, one (1) USCG Station representative, one (1) NASBLA CEO, and (1) Commercial Towing representative. The remaining membership may be distributed amongst any of the groups with no more than two (2) additional members from any of the groups, and/or a category not mentioned here but upon the agreement of the BOAT Advisory Board.

The current membership roster for 2016 with term limits:

boat advisory board

Well established by 2015, the BOAT Advisory Board was no longer functioning as a subcommittee, but rather a free-standing advisory Board to NASBLA’s BOAT Program. By this time the program’s catalog had grown to more than 14 courses with three of those recognized by FEMA for incorporation into their Grants and Training manual, which facilitates use of federal grant dollars for training.  Those courses are clearly identified with the FEMA catalog number in the latest edition of NASBLA’s Training Course Catalog.

Today NASBLA’s BOAT Program Director utilizes more than 150 credentialed instructors in delivery of more than 60 training events scheduled to be delivered in 2016.

2016 BOAT Advisory Board (4)

On April 5-6, 2016, the Advisory Board held its annual meeting at NASBLA headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, and members spent a day and a half producing some very impressive solutions and charging themselves with an ambitious list of work to resolve prior to the NASBLA conference in Seattle this September:

  • Evaluation of currency requirements for all 14 courses. Those requirements that will apply to certain courses will be published later this year.
  • Utilization of the online portion of the Boat Crew Member course. To be utilized to shorten classroom time in delivery of BCM as an offered option.
  • Final review of the new Solo Swift-Water Rescue course. The outline was approved for final development and beta testing later in 2016.
  • Development and progress report on the online GPS Forensics course, to be offered later in this year.
  • Development progress on construction of a permanent lab facility for NASBLA’s Advanced Boat Accident Investigation at the Pat Thomas Florida Law Enforcement Academy.
  • Highlights and update on the FLIR software development and partnership with NASBLA.
  • Pricing: NASBLA has held the line on course pricing for the last five years and the margins are shrinking in our ability to deliver training on a cost recovery business model. Effective July 1, 2016, full cost training programs currently priced at $28,000 will increase to $32,000. For those agencies currently committed through a purchase order or signed “scope of work” document, they will not see any cost increases on established commitments. Please contact NASBLA for pricing on specific courses, based on class size and duration. A full pricing outline will be published prior to July 1, 2016.

Immediately following the Board meeting, NASBLA staff demonstrated the new database capabilities to the U.S. Coast Guard. The successful demonstration is ready for deployment in May and will allow Coast Guard Sector Commanders and Emergency Management agencies to acquire a user name and password to query our student database when location of trained personnel to the national standard is critical in emergency response situations.

The BOAT Advisory Board currently has two vacancies; if you are interested in being part of our future, please contact either John Fetterman,, or Mark DuPont,, or by calling 859.225.9487.