DEM Environmental Police Officers to offer Boating Safety Information this weekend at RI Boat Show

Environmental police officers from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) will offer safe boating tips to the public at the Rhode Island Boat Show this weekend. The boat show kicks off tomorrow, Friday, January 4, at the Rhode Island Convention Center and runs through Sunday, January 6.

Information on boating safety and laws, registration and renewals, boater education courses, boating safety challenge exam books, and related topics will be offered at the DEM booth throughout the show. Boater education courses are mandatory for all boaters born after January 1, 1986, who operate a boat with a motor greater than 10 horsepower, and for all operators, regardless of age, of personal watercraft.

Nationally in 2017, in accidents in which the level of operator education was known, 81 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the driver did not receive boating safety instruction, according to the US Coast Guard. Only 14 percent percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the driver had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate, according to the Coast Guard.

“There are nearly 40,000 registered boats in Rhode Island. DEM wants to ensure that the public has a safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational boating experience,” said DEM Director Janet Coit in a prepared statement. “Trout season’s not too far off and summer’s just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to take a boating safety course.”

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Forms for registering and titling new boats will be available at the DEM booth. Visit DEM online for more information on boating in Rhode Island.

Admission to the Rhode Island Boat Show is affordable: $5 per adult. There is no admission charge for children aged 12 and under, and women will be admitted to the show free on Women’s Day, Sunday, January 6. For more information about boat show hours and exhibitors, visit

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