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NASBLA BOAT Program Delivers Boat Operator for Search and Rescue Course

By Taylor Matsko posted 12-01-2021 10:27 AM


NASBLA BOAT Program Delivers Boat Operator for Search and Rescue Course 

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program delivered a Boat Operator for Search and Rescue (BOSAR) course, hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Natural Resources Police, from November 1 – 5, 2021. The BOSAR course gives maritime law enforcement and emergency responders a learning framework in order to become more proficient with skills necessary to operate in the maritime environment and conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations. 

Over the course of the five-day training, 15 students had the opportunity to learn more about team coordination, boat handling, boat piloting and navigation, search and rescue, and towing and salvage. The 15 students in attendance came from two different organizations within the state: the Maryland DNR, Natural Resources Police, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Throughout the week, students engaged in both classroom and on-water training. They were able to participate in various exercises including close quarters maneuvering, docking, global positioning system (GPS) and electronics familiarization, and waypoint plotting and operations. In addition to these exercises, students traveled to the Bay Bridge Airport for a static display where they were given an overview of U.S. Coast Guard helicopter operations and SAR procedures from LT Mike McGee and his crew. 

On the last day of the course, students participated in a final review of the course materials prior to taking the exam. All students passed the five-day BOSAR Course with a final class exam average score of 91.9%. The week concluded with a course evaluation, a few informational videos, and one last review of the course content from the past week. 

The Maryland DNR, Natural Resources Police, has been a BOAT Program Accredited Agency since 2019. Accreditation of an agency ensures that its training curricula, policies, qualification processes and documentation for crew members, boat operators for search and rescue, and tactical operators meets the BOAT Program’s National Standards, and allow an agency to train and qualify all of its officers internally, as well as its partners on the water.

The instructor cadre included Eric Lundin, Charlie Mallow, Craig Ross and Troy Brimer. Troy Brimer was assisting with the instruction of the BOSAR course on his state’s time. Each of these instructors brought a wealth of knowledge from their work experiences to personalize many training points and offer unique perspectives for the benefit of the students.

If you are interested in learning more about the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program, please visit the BOAT Program webpage. Click here for more information on the Boat Operator for Search and Rescue (BOSAR) Course.