With summer just around the corner and “welcome back weekend” events already taking place around the shores of Grand Lake, it is a good time for lake enthusiasts to prepare for boating season.

And as you make those preparations, the Grand River Dam Authority is encouraging you to make boater safety a priority during all of your trips to the lake this year.

To help you do that, the GRDA Police Department is once again offering its annual Kyle Williams Boater Safety Education Courses during spring and summer.

Intended to help educate young boaters, the course was named after a 12-year old Oklahoma boy who was killed in a personal watercraft (PWC) accident on Lake Eufaula in 2004.

To help prevent such tragedies in the future, the Kyle Williams Safe Boating Act became law in 2007. It prohibits children between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age (without a valid driver’s license) from operating any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower or sailing vessel 16 feet or longer, without first completing a state-approved boater safety course.

Currently, there are four courses scheduled for selected Saturdays (March 18, April 29, May 20 and June 24) at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. Courses are free of charge; however you do need to register. You can do that online by visiting the “Kyle Williams Boating Safety Classes” tab, under the Lake Information>2017 Lake Events dropdown menu on grda.com.

While boater education is required for children in the 12 to 16 age range, older adults are also encouraged to attend.

A possible insurance benefit, opportunity to learn something new (including rules specific to Grand and Hudson lakes), the chance to set an example for younger boaters and the chance to get reacquainted with boating safety are all good reasons for adults to participate in a class.

GRDA wants to help you to boat safe and certified this summer. You can do that by participating in a boater safety education course.

Headquartered in Vinita, Grand River Dam Authority is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. For more information, persons interested may visit www.grda.com, or http://bit.ly/grda-grandlake.