Free boater education certification classes in Montgomery County begin March 20

Deputy Joey Ashton with Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office will be an instructor. Ashton nearly drowned on Lake Conroe in 2010 and uses this experience to educate others. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Deputy Joey Ashton with Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office will be an instructor. Ashton nearly drowned on Lake Conroe in 2010 and uses this experience to educate others. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Deputy Joey Ashton with Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office will be an instructor. Ashton nearly drowned on Lake Conroe in 2010 and uses this experience to educate others. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Montgomery County residents can now sign up for free boater education classes beginning March 20 and continuing once a month until the summer. Deputy Joey Ashton with the Precinct 1 Constable’s Office lake division will be an instructor.

Boaters education classes are required for individuals born after Sept. 1, 1993, to operate a boat or vessels on the water in the state of Texas. Classes cover boating safety and responsibility, as well as general information about boats and boating laws.

The first class will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the San Jacinto River Authority building, located at 1577 Dam Site Road, Conroe, and will last eight hours. Upon completion, participants must pass an exam to be certified through the state, which has a fee of $15, Ashton said.

“It’s a generalized class talking all about boating,” Ashton said. “It goes everywhere from very elementary to what the red and green light mean in the front to [who has] right of way [on the water].”

In addition to the standard instruction, Ashton said this class will also cover topics such as kayaking and kayaking safety.


For Ashton, this topic is personal: A near-death experience when he was out on a kayak in Lake Conroe in 2010 inspired him to help and inform others about water safety, he said.

“That’s very near and dear to my heart after my little incident,” he said.

The class will also be tailored to Lake Conroe-specific boating rules. For instance, although the state of Texas requires boaters to slow down to idle speed 50 feet ahead of stationary platforms, the required length in Lake Conroe is 100 feet, Ashton said.

A website or registration link for the first class is not yet available, but interested individuals may email Ashton at joey.ashton@mctx.org.
By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.


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