FWC Introduces New Airboat Course Requirements

FWC has approved three providers to offer the newly required Airboat Operators Course.
FWC has approved three providers to offer the newly required Airboat Operators Course.

SEBASTIAN – Starting today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved three providers to offer the newly required Airboat Operators Course for airboat operators carrying passengers for hire.

USA Marine Training, Peace River Charters and TAC Training are the first three companies to have been approved to offer the course. Contact information for these providers can be found at the FWC Boating website. Airboat operators interested in taking the course should contact these companies directly for details.

“We’re pleased these providers have created courses that meet or exceed the FWC’s standards for this new course,” said Maj. Robert Rowe, FWC’s section leader for Boating and Waterways. “It is our hope that even more providers will apply for course approval so there are plenty of opportunities for members of our airboat for hire industry to take this course.”

The legislative revision to s.327.391, Florida Statutes, which goes into effect July 1, 2019, requires all persons operating an airboat carrying one or more passengers for hire on state waters to have photographic ID, proof of successful completion of boater safety education or USCG Captain’s license, proof of a commission-approved airboat operator course and proof of completion of CPR and first-aid courses.

FWC staff worked with the airboat education industry, stakeholders and gathered public input to develop the minimum course requirements for instructor qualifications, airboat operators course requirements, basic course topics, proof of completion, and refresher course requirements. The requirements are supported by the airboat education industry, stakeholders, and the public as indicated by meetings with the Florida Airboat Association and members of the public.

Additional information for those operating airboats carrying passengers for hire can go to Airboat Operators Carrying Passengers for Hire.

For more information, individuals may contact Precious Boatwright or Brian Rehwinkel at 850-488-5600.

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About Andy Hodges 2862 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.