With summer just around the corner, many folks are already planning their outings to Grand Lake and Lake Hudson.
However, before you get too far into that schedule, the Grand River Dam Authority wants to remind you to save some space on your calendar for some upcoming lake-related events.
Of course, those events start with safety and education.
As in past years, GRDA will be hosting Kyle Williams Safe Boating Courses this spring and summer.
Intended to help educate young boaters, the course was named after a 12-year old Oklahoma boy who was killed in a personal watercraft accident on Lake Eufaula in 2004.
To help prevent such tragedies in the future, his family pushed for a law requiring boater education for teens.
The Kyle Williams Safe Boating Act became law in 2007 and it prohibits children between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age; without a valid driver’s license, from operating any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower, or sailing vessel 16 feet or longer, without first completing a state-approved boater safety course.
GRDA Police will be offering these courses, for free, on selected Saturdays, March through July (courses run from 8AM to 5PM).
Five courses will be held at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center (EEC) in Langley (April 18, May 16, June 13 and 20, July 11). The EEC is located at 420 Highway 28.
Two additional courses are scheduled for the GRDA Engineering and Technology Center (ETC) on March 28 and May 23. The ETC is located at 9333 E 16th Street in Tulsa.
While children in this age group need to take the course for certification, older adults are also encourage to attend.
According to GRDA Officer Jason Littlefield, who has taught several courses over the years, adults can benefit from time in the classroom.
“It’s a really good course,” said Littlefield. “I think it has something for everybody; no matter how old you are. It is something that will benefit you one way or another.”
A possible insurance benefit, opportunity to learn something new (including rules specific to Grand and Hudson lakes) and, ultimately, the chance to set an example for younger boaters, are all good reasons for adults to attend.
For more information, or to register for a course, contact GRDA’s Jamie Flud at (918) 256 0880.