Aug 29, 2013 08:59 Boating safety classes required for some Boating safety classes required for some Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Greg Norton, Flotilla commander with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 4-10, talks to students during a boating safety class on Saturday at the Bass Pro in Denham Springs. Boating classes held at Bass Pro Advocate story Aug. 29, 2013 Comments Boating safety tips No matter how much experience one has, it’s always a good idea for boaters to review boating safety rules before departing. Ten basic boating safety tips are: 1. Be weather-wise. Always check local weather conditions. 2. Follow a checklist. A pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules have been forgotten. 3. Use common sense. One of the most important parts of boating safety is to use common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. 4. Designate an assistant skipper. Make sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s operations. 5. Develop a float plan. Always let someone else know the float plan. This should include the location and departure length. 6. Wear life jackets. Assign and fit each member of the onboard team with a life jacket. 7. Avoid alcohol. Practice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for later. 8. Learn to swim. If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. 9. Take a boating course. Boater education requirements vary by state and some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. 10. Consider a free vessel safety check. Take advantage of a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard.