NASBLA BOAT Program Celebrates 10 Years Preparing First Responders

By Taylor Matsko posted 11-04-2019 03:55 PM



NASBLA BOAT Program Celebrates 10 Years Preparing First Responders 

[LEXINGTON, KY] – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. NASBLA recognized in the early 2000s that there was a need for a national training standard amongst all law enforcement and emergency first responders. In response, after significant research, preparation and collaboration with the U. S. Coast Guard, Office of Boat Forces, the NASBLA BOAT Program was officially unveiled in 2009. The program addressed an urgent need which allowed federal, state, local, county and tribal law enforcement agencies to work seamlessly together, whether on a search and rescue mission or tactically securing our nation’s ports.
Since its inception, the NASBLA BOAT Program has grown immensely. In 2009, there were fifteen (15) instructors delivering a single course. In 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard signed a Memorandum of Understanding identifying the NASBLA BOAT Program as the national standard for the training and credentialing of state, local, county and tribal maritime law enforcement officers and rescue personnel. As the program grew over the next 10 years, so did the course catalog. Today, there are more than 230 course instructors dedicated to teaching maritime professionals how to work seamlessly on the water and to act as force multipliers across all jurisdictional lines.

“The reason the NASBLA BOAT Program has been so successful is two-fold. The first is the concept of training all maritime professionals to one national standard. This has vastly improved the safety and security of our nation’s ports and waterways,” says Dave Considine, NASBLA BOAT Program Director. “The second, is the knowledge, skills and experience of our instructor cadre. The vast majority of our instructors possess 20 or more years of experience operating on the water. Our instructors all have the same end-goal in mind, to have every public safety boat operator return home safely each night to their families.”

Over the course of the past 10 years, the NASBLA BOAT Program has issued over 17,000 graduation certificates to maritime professionals who have successfully completed a course. The Program has also accredited 26 partner agencies nationally, empowering them to train their officers internally.

The NASBLA BOAT Program currently offers 20 different courses, specializing in all aspects of boat operations and competencies, supporting maritime law enforcement and emergency rescue operations. These courses are offered throughout the year and all across the United States to ensure officers everywhere have the opportunity to standardize their training on the water. 


The Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program establishes a U.S. Coast Guard recognized national standard for the training, qualification, credentialing and typing of marine law enforcement and emergency first responders. Adoption and implementation of the program provides a true national standard for maritime interoperability at all government levels. Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.