2020 Northern Region Educator of the Year Award Winner
Richard Werner, of Safe Boating America, has been named the 2020 Northern Region Educator of the Year.
Richard Werner is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master and the owner of Safe Boating America, a safety education company based out of Bethpage, New York. Safe Boating America consists of 17 instructors who teach more than 7,500 students annually throughout New York State and Connecticut. The company will soon be extending their services to the state of Florida.
As one of New York’s most active instructors, Werner has been certified to teach the New York State Safe Boating Course since 2004. Over the course of the past 16 years, Werner has delivered boating education to over 12,000 students in more than 350 sessions. His vibrant teaching style and successful use of visual aids has resulted in engaged students who ultimately become safer boaters on the water.
While Werner has personally taught hundreds of boating courses, his network of affiliated instructors has only expanded his mission. The direct and indirect impacts of Werner’s efforts to spread boating education throughout the Northeast are profound. In addition to teaching boating safety courses, Werner also teaches Merchant Mariner licensing courses and provides instruction in charting, radar, public vessel safety, life raft deployment and emergency preparedness.
Perhaps the most notable of Werner’s contributions to New York’s boating community during this past year was his involvement in the passage of Brianna’s Law. Brianna’s Law requires boating safety education for all operators of motorized vessels in New York State. Brianna Lieneck, whom the law was named for, was an 11-year-old girl who was tragically killed in a boating incident on Long Island in 2005. Her mother, Gina, had been fighting for legislation that would require mandatory boating safety education in the state since Brianna’s incident. Werner spent three years advocating as part of Gina’s team until the law was ultimately passed and signed by Governor Cuomo in August of 2019.
Werner’s dedication, focus and commitment to boating education are second to none and make him a valuable asset to the recreational boating community. He has truly made a significant impact on the safety of New York’s waterways. Congratulations Richard Werner!
Generously sponsored by Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. We offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, we affect the lives of over 76 million American boaters.