By Coastal Breeze News Staff
When twelve year old JohnEdward Padgett-Wright asked if he could get his boating license, his parents thought twice and finally succumbed to the request. Of course, in the back of their minds (like any parent) they really thought, “Surely he is too young to pass; there must be age limits. He will find it too difficult and drop it. There’s no way anyone will give him a license.”
That is why Victoria Wright and Simon Padgett were taken aback when their son, JohnEdward, at twelve years old, not only passed the Boating Safety course, he did so with a score of 92 percent! He is now the proud owner of Boating Safety ID card and, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, THERE IS NO MINIMUM AGE TO OPERATE A BOAT.
In fact, JohnEdward can now operate a boat up to 44 feet! Victoria and Simon are proud of their son, albeit a bit apprehensive. They spoke with an FWC officer issuing his ID who assured them JohnEdward is perfectly legal to operate the boat.
During his quest, JohnEdward found the appropriate boating course online. He followed the various sessions online as required, putting in a total of about six hours of work.
What was the most difficult portion of the course? “I think the markers. Knowing what each marker means,” he said. It may have been the hardest part for him, but obviously, it really wasn’t too much of a challenge for JohnEdward!
JohnEdward’s hobbies include skim boarding, surfing, wake boarding and paddle boarding. His latest hobby? Obviously boating. He even took his parents out to Keewaydin on a recent weekend outing. They are beginning to see there might be some advantages to all this. “We’re proud of him. It’s amazing what he can accomplish,” said Victoria.
If he continues to educate and apply his learned skills, JohnEdward certainly has a bright future ahead!
Who needs a boater safety education card in Florida?
Florida Boating Safety Educational Requirements were updated January 1, 2010. This update requires boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 to obtain a Florida Boating Safety Education Identification Card in order to operate a motorboat with ten horsepower or more.
The requirements to take an approved boating safety course and to obtain a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued identification card are the same, but the age threshold for the educational requirements is now based on whether or not you were born on or after January 1, 1988. For more information, visit http://www.myfwc.com/license/boating-navigation/
This Florida boating safety course meets the State of Florida’s requirement for basic boater safety education. When you successfully complete the course and exam online, you will receive a course completion certificate by mail and we will automatically report your completion to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for issuance of your Boater Safety Education I.D. Card if you are covered by Florida’s mandatory boater education law.
Florida Boating License
The state of Florida does not have a “boating license.” The FWC issued Boating Safety Identification Card is proof that you successfully completed the online boating course. This card is valid for life.
Florida Boating Course
This course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and is recognized by the United States Coast Guard.